Making a Family Communication Plan Important as School Year Begins

As parents prepare to send their kids back to school
across the area, Fond du Lac County Communications and Emergency Management
Director Bobbi Hicken says now is the best time to prepare a communication plan
so everyone in your family knows how to get in touch in case of emergency. “If
your child is young, obviously you’re going to be relying on the school to make
contact with you and all of that, but as your children get older – as they’re middle
school, high school age – even as they’re going into college, make sure that
they know how to get a hold of you,” Hicken said. She tells us that every
school has a reunification plan in place that they can turn to in case they need
to leave the school grounds and reunite parents and children. Hicken says
parents should find out what that plan is and how the school plans on getting
in touch with you should they need to carry out that plan.

Hicken says your family’s communication plan should also
include a “central” contact person outside of the area that your family can
call during an emergency. “It may be almost impossible for you to call somebody
else who is here because everyone is using the phones,” Hicken said. “You may
be able to get out an call someone that’s not in the area and not impacted by
the disaster – if you have that central person – everyone can call into them
and say ‘this is where I am, this is what’s going on’, and you can reunite and
keep in contact through that person,” she explains. Hicken says the most
important step in all of the planning, is to make sure your child’s school has
up-to-date contact info on file for you and your family.