DEMA provides reunification training in each county

DEMA provides reunification training in each county

Following an emergency that involves school evacuation, getting students and parents back together just doesn’t happen by chance. Putting a system in place for reunification is now a statewide initiative.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency sponsored its Comprehensive School Safety Program in all three counties during August, including training Aug. 25-26 at Sussex Academy in Georgetown. The two-day seminar on adoption of the standard reunification method was conducted by staff from I Love You Guys Foundation, which is considered the gold standard in reuniting students and parents/guardians during a crisis – fire, flood, tornado, power outage, bomb threat, accident or act of violence.

The foundation provides online and in-person training mostly at no charge.

The training featured a hands-on exercise showing school staff and emergency personnel how to organize a system to reunify students and parents following any emergency. Attendees will then lead creation of a team in their district or school to implement the reunification process.

The Comprehensive School Safety Program was created in 2012 to enhance safety in all Delaware schools with a coordinated approach between state and local emergency responders, education staff and other supporting agencies.

The I Love U Guys Foundation was begun in 2006 by Ellen and John-Michael Keyes following a school shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo., that took the life of their daughter, Emily. On that day, Emily sent “I love you guys” emails to her mother and father. To learn more, go to iloveuguys.org.

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