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Teen Talk: Safety Plans for Teens

Teen Talk - Teens and School Safety
Posted at 5:30 AM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:47:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Recently, there were several social media threats targeting Leon County schools.

Many parents try to teach their teens about what to do if something were to happen.

Family therapist Jane Marks says One of the most frightening experiences is the sheer number of catastrophic events that appear to be happening in schools all over the country. It's important to  prepare teens for these unexpected events, and teach them to react as responsibly as possible.

Here's Marks' advice:

1. Be aware of your surroundings. Know your place and space.

2. Know the escape routes. Prepare in advance by identifying all escapes from room where you spend the most time. This includes emergency exits, fire escapes, and windows. Hopefully, for every teen there should be at least two escape routes. This also applies to work places as well as other structured environmental settings. You just don’t know where there unforeseen situations can occur.

3. Should a dangerous situation occur, react as quickly as possible. Your best chance to survive something like a shooting is to run as fast as possible.

4. Don’t be concerned about your belongings. Your first instinct may be to get your possessions, but in a case where it might be a life or death threatening situation, leave them there.

5. If you’re in a safe place that is no longer safe, there is some protection in numbers. Try to coordinate with others if you can to protect the group. We hear about this particularly in situations on an airplane.

6. Help others when possible and contact authorities only when safe. You should have programmed in your phone if you keep it with you, police, sheriff’s office numbers and 911.

7. If possible, create a plan that prevents other individuals from entering an area where you are.

8. When there is an intruder keep your hands visible.

9. Follow the instructions of any kind of police officers or first responders.

10. Do not attempt to move wounded people.

11. If it is a dangerous situation and there is someone who may be wielding a knife or some kind of weapon, hide behind large items, cabinets desks.

12. Remain quiet.

13. Be mindful of potential upcoming weather catastrophes. Each one requires a different set of solutions.

14. Don’t over fill up the mental and emotional stress that can occur after a violent situation or even a weather catastrophe. Remember you may have to seek out medical attention not only for physical injuries but emotional injuries. These are sometimes the situations that you just don’t want to power through.

15. Finally, developing safety plans for as many situations as you can think of is smart parental coaching.