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August 31, 2009

Back to School Preparedness

Back to school time is here. I'm sure if you have any children you have been busy purchasing school supplies and getting ready for the start of the new school year. There are a few things you can do to help your child be prepared for the upcoming year. Most public schools are already prepared to handle most situations. But if you're sending your child off to college then your child needs to take a few things with them to ensure they're prepared for any minor issue.

Item #1 - Fire Extinguisher

Most dorm rooms have fire alarms but some do lack sprinkler systems. It's a good idea when you're out purchasing supplies to pick up a small fire extinguisher. In a dorm there are only a few plug-ins and with all the electronics that most students pack in, multiple power strips would be needed. This does create fire hazards and while a fire extinguisher isn't going to save the whole building, proper training with the unit can put out a small fire in the room.

Item #2 - First Aid Kit

I know I've talked about the importance of a first aid kit but I will say it again. First aid kits are invaluable in a college dorm. From small cuts to needing pain medicine or allergy medicine; a first aid kit is an essential item for your child. They are cheap and one kit would probably last the whole year. Instead of buying a box of Tylenol, band-aids, and so on; just purchase it all in a good first aid kit, and you will also get many other useful items in it.

Item #3 - Flashlight

A flashlight is also an essential in any college dorm. A working flashlight that is, so make sure there are some spare batteries for the light. Most students aren't the neatest; and I've seen some pretty rough dorms before. If you need to stumble into the bathroom at night, a flashlight will keep the student from tripping over things in the floor. Also, in the event of a power outage, a flashlight would help the student navigate out of the dorm and into a central meeting location, or assist them with getting out of the building.

Item #4 - Personal Protection

This is the tough part. Due to school shootings and violence; guns are banned on most college campuses, and especially inside the dorm rooms. I don't know if I would want a firearm around a bunch of drunk college students because you never know what could happen and who's hands it could find itself in. That being said, some sort of protection is necessary. You could combine your flashlight and protection and get a 4-D Mag-Lite. Those things are practically baseball bats, and could be used to drop an attacker.

So there you have it. The essentials for sending your child off to college. Make sure they're prepared as good as they can be to live life in a dorm room. It's also good to have some backup water stored and some storable food put back that doesn't need much preparation. The ice storm last year effected some local colleges and caused widespread power outages. Travel was nearly impossible, so food and water would be important to keep on hand in the dorm if the student was unable to leave.