For Parents

  • What you can do during an emergency

    There are several things that you can do as a parent to assist the school in assuring the safety of your children.  These things should be determined ahead of time and discussed with all members of the family.

    Preparedness begins at home

    • Develop and practice a family disaster plan.
    • Teach your child how to recognize danger signals such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and local community warning systems.
    • Explain how and when to call for help and how to use 911.
    • Help your child memorize important family information:  name, address, phone numbers and where to meet in case of an emergency.

    After a natural or man-made emergency: 

    • DO NOT call the school: Turn your radio to KCBS AM 740 and listen for damage reports. The school phone lines must be kept open for emergency communication. Check the ALERT notice on this website.
    • DO NOT drive to the school: Parents' cars could impede the ability of emergency vehicles to get to school. Your children need to understand the reasons for your not calling or immediately going to the school.
    • STAY at home or at work: Once you leave your house or place of work, no one will be able to contact you if you become stranded and/or injured on the way.
    • WHEN IT IS SAFE to travel to the school: ALWAYS sign students out before removing them from the school. See the Student Release Advice for Parents. A Spanish version: Entrga de Estudiantes Consejo a los Padres.

    If an earthquake or other disaster occurs while your child is:

    • Walking to school: your child should continue to school
    • Waiting for a bus: your child should return home or go to a designated alternate home​
    • In the neighborhood: your child should ​return home or go to a designated alternate home
    • Enroute to school on bus​: the bus driver will continue to school when it is safe to drive
    • En route home on bus: the bus driver will continue home when it is safe to drive​

    Activities to Calm Children

    A first step for parents is to understand the kind of fear and anxiety a child experiences.  Recognize that a child who is afraid is afraid!  A child may have distorted information and may make false assumptions about the causes of major events.  These distortions can magnify the sense of fear and make the child more likely to have persisting emotional or behavioral problems.  Parental understanding  and helpful intervention can reduce the severity of fears and prevent more serious problems from developing.  Listen to what your child tells you about his/her fears.  Explain as well as you can about the disaster and about the known facts, and encourage your child to ask questions or describe what he/she is feeling.

    Immediately following a quake, fire, flood, terrorist attack or other disaster:

    • Keep children as quiet as possible.
    • Encourage deep breathing exercise​s.
    • Sing familiar songs, such as nursery rhymes, carols, etc.
    • Play word guessing games.
    • Talk about happy memories they can recall.
    • Make a plan for what they will do over the next 24 hours.
    • Whenever possible, give children tasks to perform as part of the response.
    • Remind them that steps are being taken by state and federal government, the police, firemen, hospitals and others to make things safer.
    • Mostly, keep children in their area--quiet, seated and breathing deeply and regularly.
    • Monitor and limit exposure to the media coverage of the events to decrease the traumatic power of explicit images.

    Additional follow-up:

    • Create a comfort zone; do what brings you together as a family.
    • Make a deliberate effort to avoid inactivity and get back to routine.
    • Indicate to the child that you are maintaining control.
    • Be understanding but firm, be supportive, and make decisions for the child.
    • Maintain discipline which sets boundaries that provide stability.
    • As much as possible, STAY TOGETHER.