Getting Started

  • Preparing Your School District's Response to a Disaster

    ​It is the responsibility of the school district to plan for the safety and welfare of the students in its charge.  To begin developing a plan for your school district, start by considering the following list of suggestions.

    1. Establish an Emergency Preparedness​ Planning Committee.
    2. Develop district policies and procedures for:
      • lines of authority in an emergency;
      • school closure following a disaster;
      • release of students to parents or guardian;
      • public information and media coordination;
      • communication with nearest fire station.
    3. Establish district-wide and individual School Building Disaster Plans (Education Code 35295, 35296, 35297).
    4. Identify overlapping city/county service jurisdictions.
    5. Identify emergency resources in the immediate area (e.g., medical facilities, commercial food outlets, parent volunteers).
    6. Develop an emergency notification procedures telephone number chart.
    7. Establish a commitment for disaster preparedness funding from the local school board.
    8. Purchase and store emergency medical supplies.
    9. Purchase and store emergency water.
    10. Purchase and store emergency food.
    11. Purchase and store light rescue equipment​.
    12. Establish a communications system and purchase emergency radio communication equipment.
    13. Provide emergency power (generator) for the school district emergency operations center.
    14. Establish working relations with the city, county and local American Red Cross​ agencies
    15. Plan and practice emergency drills.

    School Response Planning Sequence 

    This sequence is recommended to all school districts in developing their emergency preparedness plans.

    Pre-Emergency Actions

    • Determine lines of authority, assign responsibilities, establish procedures.
    • Establish district and school closure policies and procedures.
    • Establish and train response teams.
    • Develop student release policies and procedures and inform parents.
    • Develop staff release plan.
    • Establish coordination requirements between departments and agencies.
    • Secure emergency equipment and supplies.
    • Obtain specific information on key facilities and resources.

    Emergency Actions

    Immediate Response and Assessment

    • Carry out emergency actions appropriate to the threat.
    • Dispatch emergency response personnel to survey area.
    • Conduct emergency operations with on-duty personnel.
    • Activate emergency operations plan and emergency operations units.

    Evaluation and Analysis

    • Evaluate all incoming disaster information and reports.
    • Summarize damages and casualties.
    • Estimate extent of resources needed.
    • Assess local personnel and equipment availability.
    • Determine outside support to be requested.
    • Determine actual locations to be used for multi-purpose staging areas, mass care facilities, and command post locations.

    Coordinated Response

    • Commit local resources on priority basis.
    • Request assistance from outside jurisdictions.
    • Coordinate the local and outside support response.
    • Reassess the situation on a continuing basis.
    • Update the information on available resources.
    • Re-evaluate damage and resource needs.

    Restoration Response

    • Begin recovery operations.
    • Coordinate disaster assistance center locations and support requirements.
    • Begin long-term restoration efforts.​