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Wisconsin officials discuss back-to-school emergency planning and preparedness

NOW: Wisconsin officials discuss back-to-school emergency planning and preparedness

NEXT:

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Most schools in the state welcome students back next week, and the before the new school year begins, the governor is calling on parents and students to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Officials want students and their parents to make emergency preparedness a part of back-to-school planning - something that can make a huge difference when it counts.

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor says the topic of school safety is constantly a priority, and much has been done in recent years to improve it. 

"With the money that was put into school safety, which the DOJ has, has addressed some of those concerns," she said. 

"It's very important to talk in advance about what to do if an emergency were to happen," said Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesman Andrew Beckett.

On Monday, Governor Evers and state officials highlighted the importance of students and parents making plans and preparations now, in order to be ready. 

Important ways to prepare include making a communication plan, so kids know who to contact first, and where, if an emergency happens. Experts say phone lines can get jammed with so many calls, so text first, then make a call, and know the school's evacuation plan as well as a potential spot to reunite. All of that is vital information. 

"Children know how to get with their parents, know what to do, know whether they're supposed to remain in place or who they could go with if they need to leave the school building," said Beckett.

Officials also add that in any situation, don't panic. 

"In any emergency situation, it's important to keep a level head and to focus on just being safe," Beckett added.

Wisconsin Emergency Management has more information on how to make sure you're prepared for the school year and any potential emergencies. You can find that information here

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