How many times in your day or even school year have there been times you need to clear your classroom? This could be because a student is engaging in behaviors that are unsafe to other students, emergency’s in the school, lockdowns, or because of fire drills. Did you feel you were prepared for the emergency?

I know I have been in schools doing consultations when these situations occur and the staff in the classroom have to scramble to gather materials. This is especially true for lockdown situations.

I was recently in a school where the lockdown location was in a 10 foot by 10 foot bathroom, we needed to fit 4 students and 3 staff, I am not going to lie it was very uncomfortable in that small space, but the teacher was prepared. At the start of my consultation we had discussed having an emergency preparedness bin.

Being prepared for emergency situations starts with having an emergency preparedness bin. The goal of the bin is to keep the students safe, occupied, and hopefully quiet in emergency situations. In the bins, the team can keep backup communication systems, contact information, paper and pencil, and mastered materials.

In your emergency preparedness bin, I suggest that you keep top reinforcers for each student, remember to update these often if the students interests change. You do not want to get out to the football field and have candy corn when the student has satiated on candy corn and only likes skittles.

I also suggest having a supply of sensory activities that could help calm the students down. This could include sensory water bottles, headphones, weighted lap pads, and small sensory bins like rice or kinetic sand.

To have communication available the team can screen shot communication systems and print them out on the computer as back-up. This allows the students to have a voice in a stressful situation.

I also suggest having extra behavior intervention plan backup materials ready to go. This could include visual schedules, first and then boards, token boards, visual timers, and contingency maps, just to name a few. Including few mastered items for each student may not be a bad idea also, this could help gain compliance using behavior momentum in a difficult situation.

I suggest to teachers at the beginning of the school year or during training’s you talk to your staff about different situations. Here is a plan I created with a team:

I hope this post gives you an idea about how to prepare for emergency situations, including lockdowns, and prevents the team from running around the classroom.