Earthquake Procedures and Communications

  • There are many important things that families can do before, during, and after an earthquake to protect ourselves, our homes, our families, and our schools. It is important to have a family plan in the event that an earthquake happens  before or after school. All schools conduct earthquake drills with students and staff once a year to ensure they are aware of procedures.


    Before an Earthquake

    It is important for families, organizations, and communities to identify their risks, make a plan, create a disaster kit, and remove, relocate, or secure anything that can: 

    • Fall and hurt someone
    • Fall and block an exit
    • Fall and start a fire
    • Require a lengthy or costly clean-up

    Prepare a disaster kit for the home and car, that includes a first aid kit and essential medications, canned goods and a can opener, at least three gallons of water per person, a battery powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries, any special items for infants, elderly, or those with disabilities, and protective clothing (like rainwear, bedding, or sleeping bags). Keep written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water, if authorities advise you to do so. 

    During an Earthquake

    DROP to the ground, take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture, and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.


    After an Earthquake

    Safely evacuate the building. Note that aftershocks could happen. These additional shaking events can be strong enough to do additional damage to already weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the main earthquake. Have a professional engineer or local building official inspect the structural integrity of your home and/or building for potential damages. This should also include: 

    • Inspecting chimneys for unnoticed damage that could lead to fires. Even a few cracks not obvious at first glance can create an unsafe condition the next time the first place is used.
    • Checking gas, electrical, sewer, and water line damages to avoid fire and hazardous leaks. 

    Communication Procedures

    • Phones may not be answered during or immediately after an earthquake, as students and staff will be evacuating the building once the event stops.
    • Parents will be notified via the SchoolMessenger notification system in regard to safety updates, transportation arrangements, etc. 
    • SSD will share updates via the District and school websites as soon as information becomes available.