Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Safety and Crisis Apps

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Safety and Crisis Apps

Article excerpt

In many districts, school psychologists have become the first person that the rest of the faculty and staff rely upon to help address a hazardous event. This could include natural disasters, screening students for their risk of suicide, or other assorted events.

One way to organize all of the information that goes into various safety and crisis plans is to use an app. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created a Disaster app. This app allows behavioral health responders to get resources when they need them. This includes being able to access resources for any type of traumatic event and having preloaded resources in case Internet access goes down. In addition, the app allows resources tobe shared with colleagues

Fortunately, there are even more apps that can assist school psychologists in their time of need. While it is not possible to present all of the numerous safety and crisis apps available, I will highlight some promising apps that school psychologists will want to download and share with others in their schools.

Many government agencies have created apps to assist people in case of natural disasters. School psychologists could reach out to teachers and encourage them to integrate various natural disaster apps into their class lessons. One example is a social studies teacher who discusses how a natural disaster app could have helped in the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The teacher could then give the students information on how to download the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app. This app allows people to customize emergency safety information and provides maps of disaster resources. It also includes weather alerts and various safety tips for over 20 different types of hazards.

Another natural disaster app that would be helpful is Emergency Radio. This app is a radio scanner that works with thousands of frequencies. It would enable students, faculty, and staff to get information from live broadcasts of the police, fire, EMS, and others.

The most comprehensive suite of apps for emergencies that I have found is put out by the American Red Cross (ARC). Their Emergency app is an allinclusive app that combines more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts which can be customized. The app even allows others to be notified when an alert is triggered. If a disaster does occur, the app will help highlight Red Cross Shelters. The ARC has other natural disaster apps that provide information on what to do in case of a tornado, wildfire, earthquake, hurricane, and flood. …

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