As America’s kids head back to class, there are new concerns that schools throughout the country don’t meet the basic standards necessary to protect our children.

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According to Save the Children, over 60 million children are separated from their parents every workday, but 28 states and D.C. fail to require emergency safety plans for schools and child care centers. This lack of preparation could endanger children’s lives and make it harder for them to be reunited with their parents in the event of any sort of disaster.

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Kathy Spangler, of Save the Children, explained that the minimum standards would require that child care centers have evacuation, relocation, and reunification plans. In addition, they should have plans in place in order to meet the special needs of children with disabilities.

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Families can better prepare themselves for disasters by:

  • Creating an emergency kit with child-friendly items
  • Make a family emergency plan
  • Teach that plan to kids and practice with them
  • Make sure your school/child care center has a plan

For a checklist and for more information, go to