With children being among the victims in the Manchester concert attack, officials are urging parents to make sure their families are prepared in case of an emergency.
“Most people are pretty complacent,” said Marci Stone, battalion chief of emergency preparedness for Roanoke Fire and EMS. “They think the emergency’s not going to happen to them or not going to be at the venue that they’re at.”
As a mom, Stone has prepared her family for the worst case scenario. Her daughter Kamryn agrees other parents should do the same.
“I think it’s important for families to have a plan so nobody will get hurt,” Kamryn said. ‘If they get split up, they don’t know where to go.”
That plan should include having a meeting spot in case you and your kids get separated and knowing where the closest exits are, Marci Stone said.
“As soon as we take our position at the local theater, we go over our emergency plan as a family,” she explained.
If you’re dropping your child off at a public place, Stone suggests having a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
“If there is an event at the civic center and you drop your child off there for a concert, if we had an emergency, emergency vehicles are likely going to be in the parking lot,” she said. “You want to think about alternative locations that your child can go to.”
Stone recommends every child have a sheet of paper on hand with emergency contact numbers. For young children, she suggests placing a sticker on his or her back with only a phone number of a relative.
“It has phone numbers on it that she would be able to contact using a landline, a hard-line telephone, to call family members that are not physically on site,” Stone said.
Phone signals sometimes go down in emergency situations since many people are trying to make calls, Stone said. She recommends having a phone that can send text messages, which can often still go through if the phone lines are down.