Last week, we got an insider’s perspective when a metro area middle school went into lockdown due to a threatening phone call and a staffer’s daughter was swept into the mix. The school acted quickly and decisively, following its emergency response plan. Students were instructed to shelter in-place.
Once our insider was secure in a cafeteria storage area with her class, she texted her father to advise him of the situation. She was scared. Smartly, she turned off the ringer of her phone and wanted to FaceTime so she could have a trusted person see and hear what was happening at the scene.
Our staffer was able to assess the situation by simultaneously checking local resources (police scanner online and his contacts in law enforcement). In fact, he received the “all clear” signal before the students did, and other than reassuring his daughter, he did not provide that information so there was no dissonance with school authorities. Instead, he told his daughter to stay on FaceTime –discreetly – and keep listening to instructions.
Takeaways: The ubiquitous use of mobile phones can help during emergencies – provided there is a signal. Create an emergency communications plan with your loved ones and have a back-up in case you have to connect without a mobile device.