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Escondido Union HSD  |  AR  6114.3  Instruction

Earthquake Emergency Procedure System   

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Earthquake While Indoors at School

When an earthquake occurs, the following actions shall be taken inside the school building and in individual classrooms:

1. The teacher or other person in authority shall implement the DROP action. Each student shall:

a. Get under equipment (desk, table, etc.) where available. Otherwise get next to an inside wall or under an inside doorway.

b. Drop to knees with back to the windows and knees together.

c. Clasp both hands firmly behind the head, covering the neck.

d. Bury face in arms, protecting the head. Close the eyes tightly.

e. Stay there until the procedure or emergency is over or until subsequent instructions are given. Such instructions will depend upon circumstances and the extent of damage to the buildings.

2. As soon as possible, teachers shall move the children away from windows and out from under heavy suspended light fixtures.

3. Teachers shall implement action to LEAVE THE BUILDING when the earthquake is over. Teachers shall ensure that students do not run, particularly on stairways.

Earthquake While on School Grounds

When an earthquake occurs, the following actions shall be taken if teachers and students are on school grounds:

1. The teacher or other person in authority shall direct the students to WALK away from buildings, trees, poles, or exposed wires.

2. The teacher shall implement the DROP action. Teachers and students shall cover as much skin surface as possible, close eyes, and cover ears.

3. Teachers and students shall stay in the open until the earthquake is over, or until further directions are given.

Subsequent Emergency Procedures

1. Teachers shall see that students avoid touching electrical wires that may have fallen.

2. Teachers or students shall not light any fires after the earthquake until the area is declared safe. Laboratory or shop teachers shall be watchful of students' relighting burners or stoves.

3. Teachers shall render first aid if necessary.

4. Teachers shall take roll of their classes.

5. The principal or designee shall see that guards are posted at a safe distance from all building entrances to see that no one reenters for any reason until the buildings are declared safe. Guards may be custodians, teachers, or students.

6. The principal or designee shall direct a custodian to shut off all pilot lights on water heaters or furnaces, as well as stoves in homemaking classrooms.

7. The principal or designee shall request assistance as needed, through appropriate channels, from the county or city civil defense office or fire and police departments.

8. The principal or designee shall notify utility companies of any break or suspected break in lines which may present an additional hazard. If damage has occurred, the custodian shall shut off all utilities at the main valve.

9. The principal or designee shall, if possible, contact the district office for further instructions.

10. The principal or designee shall determine the advisability of closing the school, with the advice of the City Building Inspector if possible.

11. Following the quake, the principal and custodian shall inspect all buildings for safety in accordance with inspection procedures below.

12. If the building is safe for use, the principal or designee shall clear debris in order to resume educational activities as soon as possible.

13. Until such time as the buildings are safe for use, the principal shall provide educational facilities outside so that the educational program may be continued with as little interruption as possible.

General Procedures

Students shall be taught the following safety precautions to be taken during an earthquake in the event that adults are not present to give specific directions:

1. The safest place to be is in the open. Stay there.

2. Move away from buildings, trees, and exposed wires. DO NOT RUN!

3. After the earthquake, if you are on your way to school, continue to school.

4. After the earthquake, if you are on your way home, continue home.

Inspections After Earthquake

1. The school custodian shall make a thorough inspection immediately after a severe earthquake.

Check points:

Large cracks affecting buildings

Earth slippage affecting buildings

Water leaks

Gas leaks

Electrical breakages

If leaks are detected, the custodian shall shut off the utility in the building affected and notify the maintenance department.

2. The building principal shall inspect the facility. If the principal believes the school is damaged sufficiently to be a hazard, he/she shall notify the Superintendent or designee and ask the City Building Inspector to check for structural failure and equipment adequacy. Until this is done, the building shall not be occupied.

3. The City Building Inspector shall be responsible for determining if the structure is safe for occupancy. The Superintendent or designee shall expedite reconstruction and replacement of equipment.

Earthquake While on the Bus

When students are on the school bus and an earthquake occurs, the following actions shall be taken:

1. The bus driver shall pull to the side of the road away from any buildings, poles, wires, overhead structures or bridges, if possible, and issue the DROP action.

2. The driver shall set the brakes and turn off the ignition.

3. The bus driver shall wait until the earthquake is over before proceeding on the route.

4. The bus driver shall contact the director of transportation for instructions.

5. If the bus driver continues on, he/she shall watch for hazards created by earthquakes, such as fallen electrical wires, cracked roads, or fallen poles.


approved: March 15, 1994 Escondido, California