I don’t know if the regional school districts have any preparedness plans for regional or local disasters. Judging by the Hooper Bay fire, they don’t. The schools as an institution should be on the front-line of planning with the community. Schooling is an important tool for post-trauma resiliency. The school-in-a-box idea is important to consider if we do get shut off from the everyday routines due to a pandemic or flooding or storm surges. Or, school fire.

[In addition, the schools are often a very large beast in a small community when they operate independent to the community. For example, schools often require their own water supplies, diverting from the community’s sanitation facilities. Schools contribute relatively enormous amounts of solid waste, but don’t participate in community solid waste management. Schools contribute hazardous waste and air pollution to local communities, but are not participating in eliminating or reducing their impact.]

The written story and the audio story about UNICEF’s project is available from here —

NPR has also provided links to further information.

All Things Considered, October 20, 2006 ·
A year after a powerful earthquake devastated South Asia’s Kashmir region, UNICEF is providing a unique kind of emergency relief: its School-in-a-Box program.

Each aluminum box contains classroom supplies for up to 80 students, and 10,000 kits were distributed in Pakistan over the past year. The 110-pound boxes are often carried by donkeys or small boats.

The culturally neutral materials include writing utensils, notebooks, rulers, counting blocks and posters, says Ellen van Kamthout, UNICEF’s senior project officer for education in emergencies….

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