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Mark Twain Union ESD |  AR  3516.3  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Earthquake Emergency Procedure System   

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The Superintendent or designee shall identify potential earthquake hazards in classrooms and other district facilities, including, but not limited to, areas where the main gas supply or electric current enters the building, suspended ceilings, pendant light fixtures, large windows, stairwells, science laboratories, storage areas for hazardous materials, shop areas, and unsecured furniture and equipment. To the extent possible, dangers presented by such potential hazards shall be minimized by securing equipment and furnishings and removing heavy objects from high shelves.

Earthquake While Indoors at School

When an earthquake occurs, the following actions shall be taken inside buildings and classrooms:

1. Staff shall have students perform the drop procedure. Students should stay in the drop position until the emergency is over or until further instructions are given.

2. In laboratories, burners should be extinguished, if possible, before taking cover.

3. As soon as possible, staff shall move students away from windows, shelves, and heavy objects or furniture that may fall.

4. After the earthquake, the principal or designee shall determine whether planned evacuation routes and assembly locations are safe and shall communicate with teachers and other staff.

5. When directed by the principal or designee to evacuate, or if classrooms or other facilities present dangerous hazards that require immediate evacuation, staff shall account for all students under their supervision and shall evacuate the building in an orderly manner.

Earthquake While Outdoors on School Grounds

When an earthquake occurs, the following actions shall be taken by staff or other persons in authority who are outdoors on school grounds:

1. Staff shall direct students to walk away from buildings, trees, overhead power lines, power poles, or exposed wires.

2. Staff shall have students perform the drop procedure.

3. Staff shall have students stay in the open until the earthquake is over or until further directions are given.

Earthquake While on the Bus

If students are on the school bus when an earthquake occurs, the bus driver shall take proper precautions to ensure student safety, which may include pulling over to the side of the road or driving to a location away from outside hazards, if possible. Following the earthquake, the driver shall contact the Superintendent or designee for instructions before proceeding on the route or, if such contact is not possible, drive to an evacuation or assembly location.

(cf. 3543 - Transportation Safety and Emergencies)

Subsequent Emergency Procedures

After an earthquake episode has subsided, the following actions shall be taken:

1. Staff shall extinguish small fires if safe.

2. Staff shall provide first aid to any injured students, take roll, and report missing students to the principal or designee.

3. Staff and students shall refrain from lighting any stoves or burners or operating any electrical switches until the area is declared safe.

4. All buildings shall be inspected for water and gas leaks, electrical breakages, and large cracks or earth slippage affecting buildings.

5. The principal or designee shall post staff at safe distances from all building entrances and instruct staff and students to remain outside the buildings until they are declared safe.

6. The principal or designee shall request assistance as needed from the county or city civil defense office, fire and police departments, city and county building inspectors, and utility companies and shall confer with them regarding the advisability of closing the school.

7. The principal or designee shall contact the Superintendent or designee and request further instructions after assessing the earthquake damage.

8. The Superintendent or designee shall provide updates to parents/guardians of district students and members of the community about the incident, any safety issues, and follow-up directions.

(cf. 1112 - Media Relations)

Legal Reference:


32280-32289 School safety plans


3100 Public employees as disaster service workers

8607 Standardized Emergency Management System


2400-2450 Standardized Emergency Management System

Management Resources:


The ABCs of Post-Earthquake Evacuation: A Checklist for School Administrators and Faculty

Guide and Checklist for Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools, January 2003

School Emergency Response: Using SEMS at Districts and Sites, June 1998


Guidebook for Developing a School Earthquake Safety Program, 1990


American Red Cross:

California Emergency Management Agency:

California Seismic Safety Commission:

Federal Emergency Management Agency:

National Incident Management System:


approved: April 09, 2015 Angels Camp, California