Prepare Your Family for Back-to-School Season with Potentially Life-Saving Emergency Planning


Whether you’re at home, at work or while your child is at school, disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. As you prepare your child to go back to school, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all families to think ahead about emergency preparedness.

Here’s a few tips below to ensure you and your loved ones are safe:


Make a family emergency plan together

  • Have a conversation with young ones about what an emergency could be and how to be safe.
  • Talk about how you will find each other if your family becomes separated during an emergency.
  • Decide on a safe familiar place where your family can go for protection or to reunite. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.
  • Think about evacuation routes if your family is at home or your child is at school.
  • Practice your plan before an emergency so everyone knows what do if a disaster occurs.
  • Write down any allergies your child has, the medications they take and any emergency contact information.
  • Sign up for alerts where your family lives, works, goes to school or recreates.

Keep a copy of your family’s emergency plan in your child’s backpack

  • If your child has trouble communicating or remembering the plan, include a copy of this plan to keep with them when they’re not at home.
  • It may be helpful to let your school know that your family has a plan in case of an emergency.
  • Let your child choose a small blanket, care toy or stuffed animal to live in their backpack. It may help them stay calm during an emergency.

Make a “Go Bag” with emergency essentials

  • Make a “Go Bag” that you can grab quickly if you need to leave during a disaster. Include basic supplies such as:
    • Medicines
    • First aid kit
    • Bottled water and non-perishable food
    • Local maps
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Games or books to keep little ones busy
  • Consider adding additional items to your bag based on your family’s needs.

Ask your child’s teachers and administrators about the school’s emergency action plans

  • Every school has a unique action plan to use in the event of an emergency. Have a discussion with your child’s school administration to learn about safety and emergency guidance.


Additional Resources

Children’s Disaster Puzzle/Memory Game

Children’s Preparedness Coloring Activity/Phone Number Practice

Let’s Be Prepared! Children’s Activity Book

County Emergency Resources Sheets

Fillable Disaster Ready Identification Card

Comprehensive Family Readiness Guide