Illinois urges emergency planning before school starts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois officials are encouraging families to make preparing for an emergency part of back-to-school planning.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends making sure emergency contact information is current at the school and to authorize a friend or relative to pick up children in case there is an emergency.

They also suggest also teaching children to send quick texts to let family members know they are alright in case phone service goes down in an emergency. They say short and simple texts like, “I’m OK” are more likely to go through than a phone call.

Alicia Tate-Nadeau, the acting director of IEMA, says emergencies can occur at any time of day or night and the start of the school year is a good time to make sure families are prepared.