Back to school preparation across America for the majority of our youth is in full swing. With the COVID-19 situation in full effect, especially with the Delta variant of the virus lurking, parents and students are worried and preparing themselves to get back to school.
On top of that concern, it’s apparent that schools and colleges aren’t the “safe” zones that most would have us believe. Our youth are exposed to bullying, social conflict, lewd behavior, sexual misconduct, abuse, illicit substances, and violence just to name a few. In some cases going to school can become deadly.
But getting a proper education is essential in today’s society – at the minimum, a high school degree. I may not agree with the goals and focus of our educational system, but it’s what we have and we’ll make the best of it.
Just like the past year, most parents would rather have their children in home school but for those who think that it is not a viable option, here are some ways to help ensure their safety in times of emergency.
Prepping for a Safe Schoolyear | Back to School Preparation
1. Back to School Preparation For Prepper Parents
The most important thing you can do for your child’s safety at school is at-home training. If you can access the campus after hours, then training at the actual school is even better.
Here are some back to school preparation tips to get the most out of your emergency training:
- Make maps of the school that are easy for your child to read and understand. Then mark and color code the escape routes from different locations in the school that your child most often frequents. Laminate the maps and make sure they’re always in your child’s backpack.
- Review and talk about the escape routes often. Talk about meeting places away from the school and how you’ll find them if something does happen. Teachers and administrators are taught to keep their children on campus and insight so they’ll be required to follow directions if that direction is available. In some situations, mass confusion takes over and the faculty may not be there to help.
- Talk to the teacher about their plans and what they do in the case of an emergency. Know the school's policies and procedures so that you and your child can be prepared for them. Remember that your child’s teacher doesn’t have much flexibility when it comes to what they’re allowed to do in an emergency.
- Review all the scenarios you can think of. Some examples are: School shooters, strangers, rides home, fire and smoke, conflicts with other students, misconduct from faculty, and extreme weather.
- To keep your children safe health-wise, packing an extra face mask and disinfectant can go a long way in protecting them against the virus.
Planning and practice are paramount to surviving an emergency on a school campus. And since schools are primarily “gun-free zones” they become full of helpless victims for mentally deranged individuals.
Even though a supermajority of schools does little to protect children from becoming victims, the college campus is even more dangerous.
2. Back to School Preparation For College Students that are Preppers
College students don’t have a lot of room to store their preps and gear. Being stuck in tiny dorms and small apartments can prove a challenge to stocking the gear you need to survive. Often the college may be hours from home, or even across the country from any family.
The good news is that there are lots of groups online for preppers to meet. This means you can connect with local preppers and hopefully join a group you can meet up with if SHTF. I choose Meetup.com and have joined a few prepper and sustainability groups from there.
A college student needs to have plans of action for different scenarios as well. Know the layout of where you live, and the campus you have classes in. Also, know where you’re going if things do go south. Having multiple bugout locations away from campus is a good idea.
Since colleges are usually in high population areas it’s also a good idea to have a plan to get the heck out of dodge. The biggest reason that a get out of dodge plan doesn’t work is waiting too long to leave.
A great way to be prepared to leave is to have an RTH pack with you or in your car. The “return to home” pack should have the basic gear to help you get to a safer location. Choosing everyday carry gear that helps you get to your RTH, or bugout bag is also a good idea.
Not all emergencies become to get out of dodge situations. The power and water may only be out for a few days and putting yourself at risk on the open road may not be worth it. Analyze your risk, and be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.
For bugging in it’s important to build a small reserve of supplies, food, and water. I wasn’t as focused on emergency preparedness back then, but I did keep a few days to a week’s worth of rations on hand just in case.
My first college dorm was very small and didn’t have a lot of storage. What I did to combat that was utilize the space as efficiently as possible.
For example, my dorm room had a built-in bed platform. It raised the bed 18” above the floor, but it was built as one piece out of plywood.
The solution was to remove the plywood sheet under the mattress that was affixed with nails and remove the nails. I was then able to store things under the bed and just re-affixed the platform before I moved out. It was a great hiding place as well.
I only kept a minimum amount of personal items in the dorm, the rest stayed in storage at mom and dad’s house. Sentimental objects may cause you to resist leaving in a hurry.
When in a campus-type housing situation it’s important to keep your gear ready to go. You’ll likely have less time to get out than you will if you have an off-campus living arrangement since those campuses are highly controlled and regulated. It’s all about staying under the radar.
Have your bugout packs ready at all times. I personally kept everything I needed to survive ready and packed to throw into the car at a moment's notice.
3. Back to School Preparation Survival Gear for Students
As a student at a private or public educational institution, your choices of gear may be limited by policies and legal regulations. Most campuses do not allow weapons on their premises in any form.
Some college campuses may be more lenient to personal defense items than a grade school. In most grade schools everything is banned, your best defensive tools are what you can find and utilize on campus.
In high school I once got in trouble for having a bow and arrow in my car, I had been out at the archery range that morning but it was considered a weapon and I was warned to never accidentally bring it back on school property. This was 12 years ago and the policies have only gotten stricter. Even pop-tarts and imaginary weapons can get you expelled now.
A great piece of gear for any student would be a bullet resistance backpack. You can add ballistic plates to your current backpack but a purpose-built one will be more comfortable. Check out the: Guard Dog Security ProShield Backpack.
It’s the most affordable NIJ Level IIIA bullet-resistant backpack I’ve been able to find. For college students, these backpacks are a great idea as well. You may also be able to carry more effective self-defense gear on your campus.
Check the policies, and even ask the campus security or campus police department what your options are. If your campus allows you to carry a Taser or pepper spray it’s a good idea. At the least, an effective personal alarm is a must!
What are your back to school preparation plans? Let us know in the comments below.
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