Episode-983- Donald Green on Prepping Your Children for School Emergencies

Don and I at the Self Reliance Expo in N.C.

Don and I at the Self Reliance Expo in N.C.

Donald Green is the founder of IfItHitsTheFan.com and has been a prepper since he was in high school in the early 80s.  He has run his blog, If It Hits The Fan, for over three years.

He is also a retired police officer and currently the chief of security and emergency planning for a large, urban public school district.  He is a Certified Emergency Management Assistant and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management through American Military University.

Donald teaches crime prevention, school safety, and disaster preparedness at state conferences and to church and civic groups.  Donald joins us today to discuss how we can better prepare our children for the risks they may face while in school.

Join Don and I Today as we Answer Questions Like…

  • What threats do our schools face?
  • What are some of the worst school disasters historically?
  • What are some age-specific things that parents can do for their children?
  • What can parents expect from their children’s schools
  • How can parents help their children’s schools be more prepared?
  • How should parents respond if their child’s school is attacked?
  • How you can teach opsec even at a young age with a EDC kit?
  • How to stay compliant with school rules in regard to EDC?
  • The questions to ask school teachers and administrators to eval security and safety?

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

34 Responses to Episode-983- Donald Green on Prepping Your Children for School Emergencies

  1. I look forward to getting feedback, questions, experiences and anything else from TSP listeners! Contact me through here or through my website – I am here for you!

  2. Good informative show. But, I have a question I didn’t hear covered (maybe I should listen again before asking ), but what’s a person to do if they somehow are in a position to assist in the capture or stopping a perpertrator in order not to be mistaken or misunderstood as being a perpetrator,too, when police arrive, especially if armed.

    • Hillhag – we did not cover that, but it’s a good question. I’d say that it would be no different than the same situation in a mall or movie theater or on the street… loudly verbalizing what you are doing and IMMEDIATELY complying with anything the police might command. Perhaps this is a good question for Frank Sharpe Jr. on a listener feedback show.

  3. Don Green is right on. This is an excellent episode. As a school board member I concur with everything he recommended. Lean on the principals, administrators and board members to protect your children as well as all students in the district.
    The first responsibility of a school district is the safety of students, staff and visitors.

  4. This was a great show! We home school both of our kids so some of it didn’t carry over but the majority did…especially about getting them to carry beginner EDC kits and knowing how to prep them for disasters. Thanks for the great show!

  5. Today’s episode was the most convincing argument for homeschooling I’ve ever heard. I will never again be embarrassed by strangers criticizing us for homeschooling because our kid will not be “properly socialized”. Any chance Jack will feature a homeschooling episode to complement today’s broadcast? Any chance of a homeschool supplies sponsor with a discount for MSB?

    • Just had to tag along on your comment! We homeschooled our two girls now 21 and 24 beginning in kindergarten. We also got the socializing bit – best answer – “we prefer that our children learn their socialization skills from adults who know how to treat other people, rather than by children who are still learning how.” We don’t regret one thing about our homeschooling experience. Both girls went to college – one is still working on her degree after taking 1 1/2 years off for a hands on internship. Both were accepted to their University of choice and both received numerous scholarships. We truly believe homeschooling graduates will be the adults who help lead us out of this mess we are in!

    • Pat and 1Preppingmom – some of the smartest and best adjusted young people I know have been homeschooled. I hope you can use some of what we talked about to help you children plan and be prepared for crises on field trips or in college or at work.

  6. Jack, that terrible event was at the the Main Building at the University of Texas, NOT A&M! You will get your Texan credentials pulled if you don’t know the difference between the Longhorns and the aggies! 🙂 …… Great show though. Hook’em

  7. Texas A&M.
    I think you mean University of Texas. There was a movie that had Kurt Russell as the shooter?

  8. Michael Jordan

    I want to point out 1 thing jacket I work as a custodian and security at a school in Wyoming. I think people really underestimate our job. whenever there’s a fire we have to stay in the building to make sure everything is locked and secured. and if there’s ever shooter on the facility we have to make sure all the children locked in the room and try to find the shooter so we can I sleep then letting the police or mergency services know where they are. also if you have a bowling programming your school the best thing your child can do it there ever being bullied in classes to step up really loud and say “You’re threatening me and I feel my life is in danger.” this looks the teacher in every student in the building know that there is a problem with school that needs to be identified.
    thanks for your show Jack and remember
    “I don’t always bugging out, but when I do I go Ipug Atmu. state prepping my friends.” (Ipug Atmu is a facebook page on prepping and survival.)

    • Michael – I’d certainly never underestimate the role of custodians and security officers. They often know far more about the student climate in the school than the adminstrators. Folks like you are indispensible to overall school safety. Thanks for what you do!

  9. Donald, and Jack, great show today!

    I had several other reasons to homeschool, …but it was Glenn’s show on a Beslan style attack that pushed me to inquire about the security at my sons elementary school.(after watching the Beslan takeover)

    Their “plan” was to have the classroom students and teacher cram into the bathroom in each classroom, close the door, with the teacher as a shield, and wait for the police to show up. Talk about a “killing field”.

    Shortly after, I pulled my son out.

  10. TrekFanDan – I think I have links to that GB series saved somewhere. I’ll see if I can dig them out and put them up at If It Hits The Fan and I’ll link to it here.

  11. I can’t seem to get the right link to Jack for the If It Hits The Fan Facebook fan page… This link “should” work… http://www.facebook.com/pages/If-It-Hits-The-Fan/132960240062234

  12. Moonvalleyprepper

    Looking forward to listening to this one. I’ve been a 6-12 grade Science / Technology teacher for 4 years now. Just got into prepping a year ago. I’ll post back with any questions once I’m done. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  13. I’m only half way through listening but I haven’t heard about cell phones yet. My wife and I are trying to decide if we should give our 2nd grader a cell phone. Good for communication but don’t want him playing games or getting contact from unknown adults. Any suggestions. A pager?

    • John – I don’t know that a pager is best because that only lets you contact him. If you need to get word to him, go through the school or whatever adult he might be with. I was going to suggest the Jitterbug (that phone for old folks) because the original only had three buttons – home, operator and 911, but the don’t make that version anymore. The Firefly is a kid phone with buttons for mom and dad and parental controls. Greatcall is from Jitterbug and is a onebutton calling device (like the old “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up) that also has GPS tracking for kids. Take a look at the LG Migo from Verizon – looks like it might be a great choice.

  14. GREAT interview guys!
    It makes me want to share this story. It is not something that I talk about often.

    I grew up in a small town in the Chicago burbs called Plainfield. In 1990 a tornado destroyed most of the town. Leveled the high school, one middle school and did damage to the grade school I went to(I was 10).

    This happened August 28th, the day before school started. There were about 28 people killed in the tornado. Most of the deaths occurred in the high school. Thank god that it did not happen 1 day later. The entire district would have been just getting out of school when the tornado hit.

    The town was in no way ready for this to happen. The sirens went off 6 minutes after the high school was hit. The storm really did come out of nowhere, even for a midwest storm. To really put in perspective, there were 3 streets that never rebuilt, due to damage.

    I was visiting a family friend a few miles away. I was the first person to see our house after the tornado. 2 of our 3 dogs were gone. We got them back a few weeks later. I remember running down the street and having to climb over a fallen tree to get to the house.

    Our house was about 25% destroyed. The roof was gone, every window broken. The front corner was collapsed into the house. A lot of damage was debris and water. We seriously had nothing but what we had with us. I kid you not, there was NOTHING we salvaged. To this day, there are only a few pictures of me under the age of 10.

    We lived close enough to family that we had a place to stay. We also got clothes and other stuff from the Salvation Army. If it was not for the S.A. we would have had nothing! It took a long time for me to really appreciate how lucky we were to have that.

    Looking back it is really weird for me. I can remember things so vividly it is scary. Then there are parts that are almost blacked out. That is probably for the best. 🙂

    I am thankful that we made it out fine. To this day I am sad for the people that lost loved ones. What we lost was pretty much meaningless compared to the lives that were lost that day.

    I hope that this episode can help parents at least THINK about this stuff. It can and does happen. We don’t have kids so it is not something I think about often. But I hope you parents do. And when something like this happens near you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE donate something. Time, food old clothes, anything. It got us through a really hard time..

    Cheers
    Charles (sorry for the long post, this show really hit me hard)

  15. Charles – thanks for sharing that story. One thing about Americans is that we are almost unlimited givers when there are folks in need after a disaster. Sometimes it can help ease bad memories by talking about them with others who have been through something similar, or folks who can simply relate.

  16. Molly- concerned college student

    Hi,
    I recently stumbled across TSP podcasts. I was wondering what suggestions you have for college students that may walk, bike or take the bus to school. Especially in light of the bomb threats at LSU and UT recently. I always want to stay safe but sometimes leaving campus isn’t as easy as you might think. I was stuck in the library basement for quite a while during tornados in the spring. Thanks and I really enjoyed the other suggestions will definitely be sharing with my friends who have kids.

    • Molly – for a college student, I’d look at a couple different things (although this could be a nice long blog post), assuming someone who lives on campus and has a car… and I know that is not always the case. 1st – keep a full bug out kit in the car. 2nd – have a 72 hour kit stashed in your dorm room – be sure you don’t have (or at least get caught with )anything that will get you kicked off campus. 3rd – have a pretty good EDC kit – it is not unusual for college students to carry a backpack everywhere they go – consider getting a ballistic vest panel and putting it in the backpack.

  17. I am a public school teacher. Our district safety officer recently came and spoke to us about active school shooters and similar threats. One thing he said to all the teachers present that day that stuck with me was that we were to follow our own instincts above any plan the district gave us and if that meant putting the kids out the window, and taking them 3 blocks away before using our cell phones to call police, we needed to do that. I am glad to work in a district where they not only think about these things but also encourage teachers to think about these things and plan ahead mentally for events such as Columbine, etc.

  18. Don, I have been considering a career change to Emergance Managment and would like to get the perspective of someone who is already in the industry. I have background in Disaster Services as a volunteer for the Red Cross and have started my NIMS certs. Would you be interested on sharing a little bit of your time with me?

  19. Jack & Ya’ll I went to high school within the shadow of a nuclear power plant. I graduated in 04. The plan to this day is to….duck and hide underneath the desks.

    My plan personally was always to get out immediately, my house proper was within 10 miles of the plant. In the crawlspace I had piled earth on the foundation in the direction of the plant just in case.

    You stated we cannot build tornado shelters in all schools South of the Mason Dixon. We however can make cpertain that at least one building at a modern built school is strengthened to withstand all but direct hit.

    • Andrew, the district where I work has about a third of our schools in the 10 mile Emergency Plume Zone of a nuclear power plant. Every other year, we take part in a regional radiological emergency drill with FEMA, NRC, the state, the power company, schools, fire, rescue, Red Cross, emergency management and police for about a dozen jurisdictions. All localities must have a RAD Plan and my district also has one.