Preparing Students in Case of Emergency

  • To prepare children for a potential emergency at school or home, teach them to remain calm and follow the instructions of the adult in charge.  Learn other ways that parents should prepare their children and themselves for emergencies at school.
    What to Do in an Emergency
    • Do not go immediately to the school.  If there is a crisis, chances are the school will be in “lockdown” mode and you will not be able to have immediate access to your child.  In addition, your vehicle might block access for emergency and law enforcement vehicles.  DPS will do everything possible and practical to unite you with your child at the earliest time that does not hinder safety to the school. 
    • Stay calm and aware.  Our first priority is keeping students safe.  Monitor public notice by radio, television, and the internet for emergency updates and procedures.  DPS has a Parent Information Hotline (919-560-9129) that is a good resource for parents. 
    • Go to your school’s designated area.  All schools have “buddy” schools that may be used as shelters for students or gathering places for parents in an emergency.  Buddy school locations are not announced in advance because locations may change based on the incident.  Parents will be notified as soon as possible when the “buddy” school location has been determined.
    • Cooperate with school and/or law enforcement officials.  In the case of emergency, the safety of your child and others would depend upon the ability of school and law enforcement officials to do their jobs.  Please cooperate with them by going where they tell you to go.  If there is an emergency, parents will be allowed to pick up their children from the school unless public safety officials have declared it to be a shelter-in-place, a lockdown is necessary, or there is another reason that access to the school is restricted. During an emergency, school personnel will maintain a safe environment for children within the school.  School will not automatically be cancelled in emergency situations because the school could likely be the safest place for children. 
    Preparing for an Emergency
    • Keep your child’s emergency contact and pick-up information up-to-date.  Parents and guardians complete Student Data Sheets at the beginning of each school year.  It is important that schools have this information.  Students will not be released to individuals who are not authorized on the student’s data sheet or who do not have written parent authorization.  [Download a Student Data Sheet.] 
    • Follow sign-in and ID badge rules at your child’s school. All DPS employees wear identification badges.  Parents and all other visitors also are required to sign-in and wear a visitor identification badge when visiting your child’s school. 
    • Impress upon your child the importance of following directions given by school personnel, especially during emergencies.  Many schools hold mock drills so that students and staff members know what to do in an emergency.  Schools that have held these drills find that students and staff members are calmed by these exercises.  Be supportive if your school decides to hold such a drill. 
    • Review family safety procedures with your children so that they feel prepared if an emergency situation occurs.  Review what your family will do in different situations.  Check our list of additional resources for learning about and teaching children about safety, health and emergencies.
    What Is a "Lockdown?"
    If an emergency situation is occurring on or near a school campus, the school may be placed under “lockdown.”  During a lockdown, all school doors and windows are locked and all students and staff remain in their classrooms or offices.  No one is permitted to leave and no one, including parents, is allowed on campus.
    When school administrators confirm that the emergency is over, an “all clear” announcement is made and students and staff are able to resume normal activities.