GDOE & Homeland Security prepare emergency response plan

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“Trust that your school officials are going to take care of your kids,” said George Charfauros, Guam Homeland Security Adviser.

Guam – There may be no nuclear fallout shelters on Guam, but the Department of Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense says public school students at least have the protection of their school facilities.

“The school itself was built to withstand category five typhoons,” explains Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros. He added, “It’s those same buildings that will protect you from a nuclear blast.”

But what exactly should the public do if a crisis occurs during school hours?

Charfauros wanted to make the protocol very clear: parents and guardians should not try to pick up their students in the event of a crisis, especially during a missile attack.

He strongly advises students to stay within their school compound if such an event were to occur.

Although at present there is no state of emergency nor is there a high threat level on Guam, Charfauros reiterated the proper protocol if a missile attack became a reality.

“Once again, 14 minutes is not a big amount of time from you to go from where you’re at to pick up your kids and take them to shelter. Trust that your school officials are gonna take care of your kids. You as a parent need to protect yourself because if you die along the way, who’s going to take care of your kids?” he warned.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez assured all families and schools of their preparedness in a press release detailing GDOE’s School Emergency Response Plan.

The press release explains that all School personnel are trained to carry out procedures before, during, and after an emergency. Adding that school buildings are built “strong and regulatory agencies routinely visit schools to make sure they are safe.”

And as 30,000 students all over the island head back to school this year, Charfauros advises all stakeholders to use simple, common sense.

“Just pull the [typhoon] shutters together and stay inside,” he said.