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3432P - Emergencies Procedures


Safety Drills

Each school in the district shall conduct at least one safety–related drill each month, including summer months when school is in session. Schools will conduct the following drills:

  1. Lockdowns
  2. Shelter-in-place and
  3. Evacuation
  4. Earthquake and Fire drills may be conducted in conjunction with evacuation drills
  • These safety-related drills may also incorporate an earthquake drill using the state-approved earthquake safety technique “ drop, cover, and hold.”

Annually at least one of the drills will use the school mapping system and one other safety- related drill to be determined by the school. Schools should consider drills for earthquakes, tsunamis, or other high-risk local events.

Records shall be maintained in the Rapid Responder system of required emergency drills and include the following information:

  1. Date and time of the drill;
  2. Special conditions simulated;
  3. Problems encountered and corrective action taken;
  4. Weather conditions; and
  5. Time required to accomplish the drill
  6. Type of Drill
  • Each school will maintain the documentation of each drill in the school office.


Fire and Fire Drills: General Instructions

A. In the event of a fire:

  1. Give the fire alarm signal (one long continuous signal).
  2. Call (911) and report the fire to the Superintendent’s office.
  3. Authority to sound the fire alarm system in the event of a real emergency is possessed by any person who discovers the fire.

B. Fire drills

  1. Instructions must be given to all students during the FIRST WEEK of school each year.

C. Authority to Call Drills

The sounding of a fire alarm for the purpose of a drill is an authority possessed solely by the principal/designee.

Purpose of Fire Drills

Fire drills are held to familiarize the occupants of a building with the signals, evacuation routine and exits so that in case of emergency there shall be no hesitation or confusion in leaving the building.

These drills are for the safety of all persons involved, and each person must realize that the success of the drill is dependent upon their actions and cooperation. Therefore:

  1. All persons in the building must take part in the fire drill.
  2. Every fire alarm should be considered as a warning of an actual fire.

D.     Frequency - Fire Drills in Schools

  1. Fire drills shall be held at least three times each school year to assure rapid and orderly evacuation of the school During severe weather, fire drills may be postponed. A record of all fire drills shall be kept in the Rapid Responder system subject to inspection by the fire chief.
  2. In schools, fire drills include complete evacuation of all persons from the building.

E.     Warning Signals - Fire Drills

The fire warning signal shall be one long continuous signal, whether by bell, siren or horn.

An emergency warning signal, either by whistle or hand siren, should be planned for, and occasionally used, thereby anticipating possible power failure.

F.      Responsibilities of Staff

  1. Principals shall:
    1. Be in complete charge of all matters pertaining to organizing and conducting fire drills in the building, and shall be responsible for the efficiency of the drill and all corrective actions or punishments taken for violation of the rules and regulations.
    2. Be thoroughly familiar with the fire alarm system, all fire fighting equipment, all means of egress, and any special features of the building that might prove dangerous to human life, (storerooms, lunchrooms, attic spaces, ventilators, ) or where fire may spread quickly.
    3. Be responsible for notifying custodians, and lunchroom staff that in case of an actual fire, the ventilating systems, the oil burners, gas meters, ovens, etc., are shut off.
    4. Appoint all subordinate officers (see E immediately below) and instruct them in the general plan of the drills and details of their specific duties, such as instruction regarding:
      1. How to send an alarm to the fire department (including how the fire alarm system operates — both electrical and emergency).
      2. How to use all in-school fire-fighting equipment.
      3. The importance of quick action to send in a fire alarm signal, and to vacate the building — even if in-school fire-fighting equipment is in use.
    5. Appoint subordinate officers:
      1. Safety Coordinator - In case of actual fire, during the absence of the principal, it must be clearly understood by the entire staff which person shall be in charge.
  1. Teachers shall:
    1. Be in charge of their respective classes.
    2. Issue all commands relative to participation in the fire drills except as delegated by them to aides.
    3. Immediately report to the principal or designated staff, if any student is unaccounted for after a visual check of students.
    4. Maintain a classroom emergency backpack with current class lists .Make sure students and substitutes know where the backpack is located .Keep the backpack in a safe, easily accessible place near the door.
    5. Test any special procedures that will be needed for special needs students. These special procedures should be part of all regularly scheduled drills.

G. Lockdowns

  1. In the event the security of a building or the school campus is breached, the staff shall take action to position staff, students and visitors in secure enclosures and isolated from the threat. 
  2. Any staff member may initiate a lockdown by calling the office and 911.
  3. Students and staff outside the building will be notified.
  4. Staff will immediately instruct students within the building to comply with the full lockdown or modified lockdown instructions.

H. Modified Lockdown:

Staff and students will move quickly from corridors, common areas, or unsecured areas to the nearest secured area. The outside doors to all classrooms will be locked and everyone will be moved away from windows and doors. Exterior building access doors will be locked. Classroom instruction continues and limited movement within buildings is allowed. Lockdown will end after search reveals no hazard or the hazard is removed. The building all clear signal will be dispatched from the (front office/command post or law enforcement, based on your safety plan).

I. Full Lockdown:

All students and staff will remain out of sight and as quiet as possible. Staff will immediately detain students already in their classroom and direct students in corridors, common areas, or unsecured areas to go into the nearest classroom. Exterior building doors will be locked. All classroom doors will be closed and locked. Staff will keep students inside their room and as calm as possible until instructions are given or the all clear signal is given.

J. Earthquake

Earthquake preparation procedures should be included in a school/building’s emergency preparedness plan. Each school principal should consider conducting an emergency earthquake drill at least once annually. The building staff is encouraged to contact the district office and the county emergency service department for technical assistance.

1. Preparation

The principal and district staff shall be responsible for conducting an annual inspection of the building early in the school year for the purpose of identifying potential hazards in the event of an earthquake, e.g., securing all bookcases to wall to prevent collapse. Those hazards that cannot be corrected by building level personnel will be corrected by district maintenance personnel as soon as resources permit.

2. General Responsibilities

The principal must become familiar with the alarm system, all means of egress, and any special features of the facility which might endanger human life. Staff should be appointed and instructed in the general earthquake plan. The principal/designee should carry out all communications functions, coordinate post-quake building inspections, and signal re-entry when safety is assured.

Teachers shall see that all members of their respective classes take protective action appropriate to their situations; evacuate classes in an orderly and expeditious manner; maintain order; supervise evacuated students; and, insure orderly re-entry when signaled.

The custodian shall assist in the inspection of the facility, including utility conduits, and shut down mechanical/electrical systems as required. Other staff members shall assist in evacuation and care of injured or disabled individuals; help remove hazardous materials or debris; and, carry out any additional assigned functions.

Staff Instructions (During quake)
  • Drop, Cover and Hold (First sign of shaking)

Staff should maintain control in the following manner:

  1. In a classroom students should get under desk or table, face away from window, away from bookshelves and heavy objects that may fall, crouch on knees close to ground, place head close to knees, cover side of head with elbows and clasp hands firmly behind neck, close eyes tightly and remain in place until instructed otherwise or until the “all clear” signal is given.
  2. In gymnasiums or assembly areas, students should exit such facilities as expeditiously as Individuals should move to designated areas.
  3. On a stairway students should move to the interior wall and “duck and ” (Individuals should evacuate exterior stairs and move to designated areas.)
  4. If outdoors, students should move to designated areas, as far away as possible from buildings, poles, wires, and other elevated objects, and lie down or crouch low to the Staff and students should be aware of encroaching danger that may demand further movement.
Staff Instructions (After quake)

Classes should be evacuated through exits to a safe area. Students should move away from buildings and remain there until given further instructions. Responsible student or staff should be posted to prevent re-entry. Following this evacuation, the principal should:

  1. Check for injuries among students and staff. (Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.)
  2. Check for fires or fire hazards;
  3. Check utility lines and appliances for damage. If gas leaks exist, shut off the main gas valves and shut off electrical power if there is damage to the wiring. (Do not use matches, lighters, or open flame appliances until you are sure no gas leaks exist, and do not operate electrical switches or appliances if gas leaks are suspected.)
  4. Instruct students not to touch power lines or objects touched by the wires. (All wires should be treated as live.)
  5. Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, chemicals, and other potentially harmful materials immediately.
  6. Do not eat or drink anything from open containers near shattered glass. (Liquids may be strained through a clean handkerchief or cloth if danger of glass contamination exists.)
  7. Check closets and storage shelf areas. (Open closet and cupboard doors carefully and watch for objects falling from shelves.)
  8. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  9. Be prepared for “after-shocks.”
  10. Respond to requests for help from police, fire department and civil defense, but do not go into damaged areas unless your help has been requested.
  11. Plan for student/staff needs during the time that may elapse before assistance arrives. (e.g. four to eight hours.)

K.   Shelter-in-Place

Shelter-In-Place procedures are used when the building is seen as a place of safety and building occupants must remain in a school building for extended periods of time during an event such as a weather emergency, a chemical contamination or terrorist attack. To shelter-in place means to take shelter where you are and isolate the inside environment from outside environment.

L.  Emergency School Evacuation

When an emergency within a school or department necessitates total or partial closure of the schools within the district, threatens the safety and well-being of students, and/or interferes in the normal operation of the school, the following emergency procedure shall be followed:

  1. The report of an emergency shall be directed to the superintendent’s office.
  2. If the nature of the emergency calls for immediate action on the part of a principal/designee, they shall take necessary action and report such action to the superintendent’s office.
  3. The superintendent’s office shall contact those departments and/or schools who must assist in the emergency action.
  4. When appropriate the superintendent’s office shall contact the city police department and the county department of emergency services.

The principal/designee shall instruct staff including teachers, secretaries, cooks, custodians, aides, and bus drivers as to their respective responsibilities in an evacuation exercise.

The principal/designee shall be responsible for organizing and conducting such emergency evacuation drills as are necessary and shall objectively evaluate the activity following each such drill. In the absence of the principal, staff should be able to conduct all aspects of the evacuation procedure.

M.   Pandemic/Epidemic

If anyone within the school is discovered or suspected to have a communicable disease that may result in an epidemic/pandemic that person shall be immediately quarantined pending further medical examination. Local health officials shall be notified immediately.

Any student or staff member found to be infected with a communicable disease that bears risk of pandemic/epidemic will not be allowed to attend school until medical clearance is provided by the individual’s primary care physician or other medical personnel indicating that the risk of that individual transmitting the disease no longer exists.

In the event of prolonged school closings and/or extended absences by staff or students as the result of a flu pandemic or other catastrophe the superintendent shall develop a pandemic/epidemic emergency plan that includes at a minimum:

  1. The chain of command for the emergency plan, and the individuals responsible for specific duties such as quarantine;
  2. The specific steps the district will take to stop the spread of the disease;
  3. The process for identifying sick students;
  4. The transportation plan for sick students;
  5. Disease containment measures for the district;
  6. A continuing education plan for students, such a plan may include providing students with assignments via mail, local access cable television, or the school district’s Web site;
  7. Procedures for dealing with student privacy rights;
  8. A continuity of operations plan for central office functions including employee leave, pay and benefits during a pandemic; and
  9. An ongoing communication plan for staff, students and parents.

N.    Bomb Threats 

Most bomb threat messages are very brief. When possible, every effort should be made to obtain detailed information from the caller such as: exact location of the bomb, time set for detonation, description of the bomb and type of explosive used. Details such as: time of call, exact words used, sex, estimated age, identifiable accent, voice description of caller and identifiable background noise should also be noted.



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