Posted on: April 2, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

A schools or campus emergency plan model, drafted by USA Contra Costa County CAER group, is summarised below.

School risk assessment

A qualified structural or civil engineer or sheq practitioner should perform and maintain a risk assessment.
Assess buildings, grounds and nearby features;
• toxic, flammable, corrosive, chemically reactive, radioactive material
• industry, trucking, rail routes
• high voltage power lines
• fuel or gas pipe lines
• geological faults
• dams, streams
• woods, woodland, grassland
• safe areas for evacuation
• gas, water and sewer lines locating these areas
• hanging fixtures like lights
• windows and display cabinets to convert to safety glass
• stability of bookcases and shelving
• stability of water heaters, pianos, equipment, monitors, aquariums

Principal’s checklist

• Assess and manage hazards on your site.
• Determine a designee if you may be absent.
• Develop a relationship with local police and fire departments.
• Follow a standardised emergency management system.
• Recognise a chain of command among law enforcement and emergency personnel.
• Review emergency plan annually with police and fire.
• Discuss their expectations and how emergency situation criteria.
• Use municipal service resources.
• Review emergency plan annually with staff, including responsibilities.
• Review with staff the procedure for calling emergency numbers.
• Maintain records of students and staff susceptible to respiratory problems.

Emergency info sheets

Emergency services
Police Department non-emergency number
Fire Department non-emergency number
School District Office
Red Cross
Water services
Electricity services
Clergy and psychologists
News radio stations

Emergency service call procedure

State your emergency
Stay calm
Give your name and address
Listen to questions
Answer questions in a clear, calm manner
Remain on the telephone until the dispatcher disconnects


Evacuate by walking or driving slowly
Use primary or alternate fire routes shown
Consider disabilities
Keep routes for emergency vehicles clear
Take roll call and report to principal
Consider longer distance evacuation by bus services
Draft, update and keep accessible maps for fire drill, evacuation, shelters, utilities, vehicle access.

Crime response

Care for victims
Provide medical attention a needed
Notify police
Identify parties involved
Identify witnesses, if any.
Block access to crime scene until police arrive.
If an individual is armed with any type of weapon, do not attempt to remove the weapon from their possession, allow police to do so.

Fire response

Sound the fire alarm.
Notify the fire Department
Evacuate the school using the primary or alternate fire routes.
Inspect that students and personnel have left the building.
Evacuate students from the building using primary or alternate fire routes.
Take emergency backpack and student kits.
Maintain control of students a safe distance from fires and equipment.
Take roll and report missing students to the principal or command centre
Do not return to the building until declared safe.

Threatening individual response

If a belligerent or armed person threatens the safety of students;
Call people inside, or ask students lie down
Lock doors and close windows
Call police
Close curtains and blinds
Cancel outside activities
Remain with students until all clear is declared
Do not attempt to remove a weapon
Disconnect televisions and radios


Develop a communication network.
Keep battery operated radios in offices.
Build a relationship with amateur radio operators.

Family Information

Send an annual letter to families about emergency plans.
Include instructions about what parents should do, and not do.
Ask for parent volunteers to train in CPR and First Aid.
Assemble a community emergency response team.

USA school safety codes

Several USA laws pertain to school safety and school disaster preparedness;

• Education Code section 35294.2, Chapter 736, Hughes, Statutes of 1997; develop and implement comprehensive Safe School Plans.

• Education Code section 33031; principals to formulate and submit to district superintendents for approval a civil defense and disaster preparedness plan. Principals must test the plan at least two times during the school year.

• California Constitution, Article I, Section 28(c) guarantees students and staff of primary, elementary, junior high and senior high schools the inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe, secure and peaceful.

• Title 8, California General Industry Safety Orders, Section 3203 requires that every employer inaugurate and maintain an accident prevention program which shall include, but not be limited to, a training program to instruct employees in general safe work practices and specific instructions with respect to hazards unique to the employee’s job assignment and the scheduling of periodic inspections to identify and correct unsafe conditions and work practices which may be found.

• Labor Code, Section 6400 mandates that every employer furnish a place of employment which is safe and healthful for the employees therein.

• California Field Act of 1933 (Education Code Section 39140-39159-K-12, and 81130-81147- Community Colleges), enacted after the Long Beach earthquake, established a procedure to be followed in the design, review and construction or alteration of a public school building for the protection of life and property.

• Private Schools Building Safety Act of 1986 (Education Code 39160) requires new construction or renovation of private school buildings to seismic safety standards similar to those of public schools under Education Code Section 39140.

• Education Code 40041.5, 40042 (part of the “Katz Bill”) requires that schools be prepared to serve as public shelters for the community during disasters or emergencies.

• Government Code, Section 3100 specifies that whenever there is a “State of Emergency” declared by the Governor, public employees can be declared “disaster service workers” and that school districts have a responsibility to be as prepared as possible to meet emergencies. “Public employees” applies to all persons employed by the State, County, City, City and County, or Public District.

• Title 22, Chapter 1, Article 3, Section 101174, California Code of Regulations, specifies that each child care licensee shall have and maintain on file a current, written disaster and mass casualty plan of action.


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