Schools in Lake Stevens prepped for emergencies

LAKE STEVENS — When school starts in two weeks, all 400 classrooms in the Lake Stevens School District will have a well-stocked kit of emergency supplies.

Lake Stevens police officer David Carter has been working with the schools on the project for the better part of a year.

Carter is the resource officer assigned to Lake Stevens High School, North Lake Middle School and three elementary schools.

He started on the beat last fall. The job includes assessing each campus for emergency risks and preparedness.

Carter’s interest goes beyond the job though: He lives in Lake Stevens, and his children attend schools in the district.

In this part of the world, an earthquake poses the biggest disaster threat for schools, Carter said. Other examples of large-scale emergencies affecting schools include major chemical spills, power outages and winter storms. Schools elsewhere in the country have had to house kids on campus for a couple of days.

“It’s important that these kids, teachers and staff are prepared for the unforeseen circumstances of a disaster,” he said.

The kits include gloves, a flashlight and batteries, toilet paper, duct tape and pliers, among other items.

Carter worked with local businesses to get items donated to the schools or at least discounted.

For example, Haggen Foods gave 288 cases of water bottles, and sold another 504 cases at cost.

During the summer, the police department’s two school resource officers usually are sent back to patrol. However, Chief Dan Lorentzen and Cmdr. Dennis Taylor made sure to give Carter time to finish the project, because it was important, Taylor said.

On Aug. 11, a volunteer work party put all the kits together. Each kit took 52 seconds to assemble, according to a police department memo. Each classroom received two cases of water.

Other donors for the project included the Marysville Walmart, Harbor Freight Tools, the Lake Stevens Dollar Tree, the Lake Stevens Ace Hardware and the Snohomish Home Depot.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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