Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Emergency Drills - How Do We Include Those With Special Needs?

Our week of prayer and fasting went very well. There were 200+ people at every prayer meeting and the Holy Spirit changed hearts.


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, or Passover. For the first time ever, I think, we all went out for Easter dinner. It was fun being together and talking over dinner. Then we came back here and I hid some eggs for Allie. We had colored them last week and you know, I think this was the very first time I'd ever done an Easter Egg Hunt with her! This was a year of firsts!

I guess she liked the way it turned out!


I had a meeting this morning with our Children's pastor. We talked about Special Connections and some of the challenges we've faced lately. When we first started this class, we had 2 or 3 students and often none of them would come. We'd wait a while, then begin putting away all the toys and we'd head out early. Well that is definitely not the case anymore.

We have an average of 9 students that come on a regular basis, most of them are high school and older. He had some incredible ideas about recruiting and just getting the word out about our class.

We also talked about Emergency Preparedness and how we don't have a plan in place. Tonight I met with a man who leads Disaster Preparedness drills throughout our region and he asked me a lot of questions and gave me a lot of ideas about how to prepare my teachers and students for an emergency situation. We mainly talked about earthquakes and fires but he gave me some good suggestions for being prepared, in case anything ever happens.

What would we do if the nearest exit was blocked?

Yes, we need to know the route out of the building, but have I checked the terrain to see if we could get a wheelchair through?

Do we have noise cancelling headphones for those students who absolutely can not handle the sound of the fire alarm?

He suggested wrist bands or a vest or something that would alert a first responder that a student was non-verbal or someone who was deaf and may not respond to instructions.

He suggested I keep a duffel bag / backpack in our room, filled with things like a flashlight, a whistle, an attendance list, bottles of water, mylar blankets, glow sticks in case it happens at night these may keep the students calm... we can just grab this bag on our way out.

It was so good to talk to B and just get some ideas about how to help our students in an emergency. Now I need to start gathering supplies and putting this plan in motion.

Do you have a plan at home for what to do in case of an emergency? I'll admit, we don't have one at home. 

But we need to get one.


Rebecca Jo said...

It's so crazy to think of the little things that one may over look for someone with a special need in every day or ordinary occurrences.

So glad you had a great easter. I love that look of PURE JOY on that precious face with her easter eggs!!! So much fun!

bj said...

At this Summer House I now live in, there is an outside door in every room but the bath (and it's very close to an outside door) and the basement. If it shoould catch fire, I could escape easily...I'm never in the basement as we use it for storage and tornado safety.
When our daughter and family built a 2 story home, I gave them a rope ladder that could hang on the window and the kids could escape without trying to go down the inside stairs (often they catch fire first). We all felt better after that.
So...yep, we do have escape plans....

Is Beth still talking of marriage?

ellen b said...

Wow! What great suggestions for readiness. We need to do some preparedness, too!

Barb said...

Hi Cindy!

Pray and fasting can change hearts and lives, what a blessing for you and for those you were praying and fasting for.

I love to color Easter eggs, and haven't done it for years! Allie did look like she was excited, she's adorable!

Emergencies at school or at home have always been a big worry for us with Averi. She's not only blind, but autistic, so loud noises scare her and she plugs her ears. If something happened to her aide, she would be lost. I would hope that someone would find her and help her, but kids with special needs really do tend to become invisible sometimes. My daughter promises me that they have a plan in place for her if there ever were an emergency, hopefully it's a good one. She also eats differently - she doesn't chew food - so my daughter has food at the school that she can eat, just in case. It's definitely something we all need to think about, especially living in the West.

At home we don't really have a plan, but it's time we did, thank you!

Hugs and Love,