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School Emergency Supplies and “Go Kits”


Every school, before and after care center, and day care center should store emergency supplies in preparation for either an evacuation or an emergency that requires students and staff to shelter in place. The safety team should select supplies that address the needs of the specific school, its population, climate, facilities, and resources. Because emergency supplies are so important, the school safety plan should reference both the supplies to be stockpiled and staff role responsible for stocking and replenishing.

Go Kits”

In case of an emergency evacuation, it is critical that every classroom and the administration

maintain a “go kit,” a self-contained and portable stockpile of emergency supplies, often placed in a backpack and left in a readily accessible but secure location so that it is ready to “go.” The school safety plan should reference the go kits and note the personnel to whom responsibility is delegated for stocking and replenishing them. The contents of the go kits should reflect the safety team’s consideration of the school’s circumstances and resources.


Go Kit Items For Consideration
Administration Go Kit Supplies Classroom Go Kit Supplies
•   Clipboard with○ List of students

○ List of students with special needs and description of needs (i.e. medical issues, prescription medicines, dietary needs), marked confidential

○ List of school personnel

• List of school emergency procedures

• Whistle and hat for leadership identification

• Battery-operated flashlight

• Utility turnoff procedures

• Emergency communication device

• First aid kit with instructions

•   Clipboard with○ List of classroom students

○ List of students with special needs and description of needs (i.e. medical issues, prescription medicines, dietary needs), marked confidential

•   List of school emergency procedures

•   Whistle and hat for teacher identification

•   First aid kit with instructions

•   Student activities (such as playing cards, checkers, inflatable ball)


School Emergency Supplies

Every school should store emergency supplies in case its students and staff are required to shelter

in place due to an emergency or a lockdown.  All supplies should be securely stored in an accessible, central location. They should be labeled, protected, and maintained. Supplies that have expiration dates (such as batteries, food, water, and prescription medications) must be replenished over time. The safety team leadership should delegate the responsibility for making sure that these kits are properly stocked and replenished.

Schools should consider the following lists in light of their particular needs. Some items are easily stored while others are not. For example, extra clothing for young students is commonly stored in the classroom; older students could store extra clothes in their lockers.

Supply Items For Consideration


Supplies List


Supplies List

Student and Staff

Supplies List

• Designated command post with student roster (and photos), emergency contact information, and staff roster (with photos) in the form of a sign in/sign out sheet.• Reflective vests or other means of identifying safety team members

• Whistles

• Small directory with emergency telephone numbers of local drugstores, etc.

• Walkie-talkies

• Pens, pencils, or wax markers

• Change for payphones

• Special needs roster

• Campus layout maps with evacuation sites, first aid sites, and parent reunification site

• First aid supplies

• First aid instruction manual

• Medical gloves

• Food

• Water supply

• Battery-operated flashlight or light sticks

• Extra batteries

• Battery-operated radio

• Blankets

• Portable toilets, makeshift toilets, or garbage bags

• Sanitary items (toilet paper and towelettes)

• Work gloves

• Plastic sheeting

• Breathing masks

• Can opener

• Waterproof matches and container

• Lighter

• Multipurpose tool, wrench or pliers, and knife

• Speaker or megaphone

• Utility turnoff procedures

•   Clipboard with○ List of classroom students

(and photo)

○ List of students with special needs and description of

needs (i.e. medical issues, prescription medicines, dietary needs), marked confidential

•   List of emergency procedures

•   Whistle & hat (or other identifier) for teacher

•   First aid supplies

•   First aid instruction manual

•   Medical gloves

•   Food

•   Water

•   Battery-powered flashlight

•   Batteries

•   Blankets

•   Bucket

•   Sanitary items (towelettes &

toilet paper)

•   Work gloves

•   Breathing masks

•   Plastic sheeting

•   Duct tape

•   Can opener

•   Hard candies

•   Student activities

• Jacket, raincoat• Change of clothes

• Hat, gloves, and scarf where applicable

• Food

• Water

• Personal prescription medications where applicable


Additional items that schools may want to consider include: radio equipment, emergency communication mechanisms, battery chargers, cigarette lighter cords, two extra 3A fuses, gas, and LED lanterns.

Schools may wish to coordinate plans for emergency clothing and sleeping supplies with the American Red Cross or another agency responsible for mass care in a crisis situation. In many situations the school will already be designated as an emergency shelter with plans already in place for storage of cots and blankets, etc.

Stockpiling personal prescription medications is complicated by many factors, including expiration dates, insurance, expense of extra doses, and temporary versus long-term needs. Schools may be able to arrange to have on hand more “routine” medications like insulin or epinephrine that could be kept in a first aid kit. Some medications will already be stored in the school for the chronic use of individuals. This is an issue that must, at least, be discussed with parents, the school nurse, and the administrator.

Bruce Mims (64 Posts)

Bruce Mims is an educator, researcher, fitness & distance running nut, father of fraternal twins who's passionate about educational technology & equity