Week 1: Don’t wait. Communicate.

It took six months for the last child to be reunited with her family following Hurricane Katrina.

It may seem scary to talk to your children about emergencies, or maybe it just never seems like the right time. That’s normal. But thinking and talking through worst-case scenarios can help prevent them from becoming worst-case realities. Ultimately, children will feel safer knowing what to do and understanding that adults are equipped to protect them.

Create a Family Communication Plan:

  • Provide a copy to each of your family members
  • Place one in your emergency kit
  • Put important numbers in your cell phone(s)

Know your neighbors:

Getting to know your neighbors can be helpful in a crisis because, after a disaster occurs, the people in closest proximity to you – and the people who will be able to help you most immediately – are your neighbors.

Emergency alerts:

Purchase a NOAA radio and extra batteries to make sure you receive emergency alerts. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting weather service warnings as well as other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Also, tune to 1660 AM for information/updates about local emergencies.

OTSD Crisis Communications:

During a disaster OTSD will attempt to communicate with families through our typical communications channels, depending on power and/or internet access. Channels could include: text, phone, website, Facebook, Twitter, and FlashAlert. If typical communication channels are down, we will post information at each school and other key community sites.