The Apache Junction Unified School District plans to outfit each classroom in the district this week with a lockdown survival kit.
The kits — buckets stuffed with jugs of water, paper cups, first-aid kits, a flashlight and an emergency blanket — are designed to make students more comfortable in the event they are forced to stay locked in classrooms for a significant period of time, said Jeff Robinson, a school resource officer with the district.
Teachers have the option of requesting snack foods for their classrooms. All the district’s cafeterias have a designated supply of peanut butter and other nonperishables to be used only in case of an emergency, Robinson said.
The district also recently put emergency plans in each classroom so teachers know exactly what to do in the event they are forced to lock students in classrooms.
"We are looking at variety of instances where students would need to be locked in," Robinson said. "The most obvious would be terrorism or violence, but not that long ago we had students in lockdown because some power lines were down."
Spokeswoman Carol Sheppard said the district began reevaluating its emergency processes about three months before the 1999 Columbine tragedy, where two students at a Littleton, Colo., high school killed 12 classmates, a teacher and themselves.
"We were really ahead of most schools on this stuff," Sheppard said.
By spring, the district plans to have software installed in all Apache Junction police cars that gives detailed pictures of each school campus.
"We’ll be able to know exactly where we are going," Robinson said. "We’ll know every detail, down to where the closets are."