Code Red /Emergency Preparedness

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It’s another work day, nothing unusual until I get the text, “Mom, there is a Code Red. I am locked in the main building in a closet.

Immediately anxiety begins to swell inside me. I knew this wasn’t a drill because drills are always announced due to the nature of the drill and the anxiety that everyone still feels as we have just passed the anniversary of the MSD shooting in Parkland. Plus, the school had just had a code red drill several days prior.

For those of you not familiar with a code red, it means that someone in on campus with a weapon or a threat of that nature. Police are called in and the school is in complete lockdown.

But now my daughter and fellow students and teacher were locked up in a space with chairs and tables blocking the door. This is normal procedure until the code is placed into a yellow before normal activities can resume.

I had not received and email or a phone call from the school explaining what was going on which is the normal process as well but my daughter was giving me updates as to what was happening and what they believed was going on.

Then she turned off her phone. Yes, then I went into panic mode. In her mind, because we have gone through this situation for many hours in the past, she didn’t want to take the chance of her cell phone dying when she did need to reach me. To tell me she was safe and the code was over.

My daughter did return home safe but upset. From that point on, I insisted that she carry a portable charger just for this reason. Not to spend more time on her phone while in study hall but to keep it for an emergency situation.  One thing that makes me so good at my corporate job is that I can forsee situations and pivot always having a plan B. This was my plan B: a portable charger in case it was needed to charge a phone.

We have always portable chargers that we purchased off of Amazon after a hurricane several years ago. A medium sized one that can be charged by either solar power or a usb. It also has a compass on the back as well. This is the size of a wallet. We have used this when we go camping or during storms just to ensure that if we ever have a situation, we are prepared.

My daughter also has a smaller one that would fit in a purse and is about 3” x 1”.

If you or your child were in an emergency situation, is your cell phone accessible and ready?

Have you had this discussion with your family to determine and create a plan B?

Unfortunately, this is a discussion that everyone needs to have.

What is your backup plan?