EMA hands out disaster kits

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from Williams Pipeline Company, and EMA director Toya Stiles decided to use that money to help the local elementary schools.

With the grant, Stiles purchased shelter in place kits to be placed in classrooms to help students in the case of a natural disaster, active shooter situation or any other emergency.

“I decided to purchase [the] kits for the schools to help them get prepared and follow safety plans in the event that you may have an active shooter situation or lock down situation,” Stiles said. “It has all the things that they need for the long period of times that they may be in a lock down or whatever the situation might be.”

The kit comes in a bucket and includes light sticks, duct tape, blankets, disposable bags, a whistle, 20 water pouches, a pail and a toilet seat that fits on the bucket.

The kits were provided to elementary schools in the Selma City School System, Dallas County School System and a few other elementary schools.

Stiles and Jasper Bowie were out delivering the kits Tuesday and met up with Meadowview Elementary School principal Concetta Burton to gift her a kit.

“It really means a lot because the items that are in the container are things that we would have to go out and gather and sometimes order,” Burton said.

Stiles said it was a good feeling to hand the kits over to principals and know that the kit will provide a good start for a classroom, should anything happen.

“It’s something that could benefit them during a disaster or during an emergency,” Stiles said. “I’m very excited about it. Just to see the smiles on their faces and the thank yous that we’re receiving.”

Stiles said she hopes having the items will encourage the schools to think more about what they might need during an emergency, and even purchase more kits in the future.

“It means a lot to me to actually be able to help them and give them some of the items that they would need during an emergency and help them get prepared,” Stiles said.

“In the long run, maybe the schools could purchase some more kits for the other classes.”

Burton said teachers at Meadowview try to keep their children informed on safety instructions and what’s going on in the world around them.

“With everything that’s going on weather wise and in terms of safety, [the students] are very aware of how prepared we have to be. We take every opportunity that we can find to talk about [being prepared],” Burton said. “It means a lot that she thought about us and to give us something that would be so useful. Coming from her, it makes me know that it is exactly what we need.”

Stiles said that although she was the one that was able to hand out the kits, the real thanks goes to the company that provided the grant.

“I just want to give a big thank you to William’s Pipeline Company because that’s where the grant came from,” Stiles said.