How We Prepare for Emergencies

We have emergency supplies

Schools have emergency supplies, including a supply of food and water, as well as first aid supplies, rescue equipment, and other basic necessities. These supplies are inspected regularly and used during drills. Most schools also have additional emergency supplies located in each classroom.

We conduct regular drills

Schools conduct regular emergency drills. Every elementary school conducts one fire drill a month and high schools conduct one every semester. In addition, schools conduct at least one earthquake drill a year as part of the Great California ShakeOut in which they practice search and rescue and medical response techniques. All schools conduct a second supplementary drill in the spring to review lockdown procedures. Each school has a Safe School Plan customized to each individual school’s needs that plans for all kinds of hazards and emergency situations.


We have safe buildings

Public K-12 schools in California are legally required by the Field Act to be built to a higher construction standard than other buildings and are inspected more frequently – this makes them less likely to collapse during an earthquake. Schools are also provided with fire alarms, sprinklers and extinguishers which guard against fires.  Each school also undergoes safety inspections by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and the local Fide Department. In addition, almost all LAUSD schools are fenced around the entire perimeter, and have gated access. During the school day, there is only one gate through which someone can access the school.


We have trained personnel at schools

Teachers are required to hold a first aid certification to get hired and most schools have a nurse. There are numerous first aid and CPR courses offered through the district for free to school personnel. In addition, free online courses in disaster preparation and response and emergency management are offered to every school district employee through the STEPS program. If there is an emergency at school, school personnel have been trained, and will react quickly to protect children. LAUSD has its own police force to help with safety and security.


Keep Yourself Informed

Keep yourself informed of school procedures by attending parent meetings, reading the student-parent handbook, and school newsletter, and checking the school website periodically. Attend emergency drills at your child’s school, and make sure that your family is prepared for emergencies, too.

School Response to Emergencies:

If there is an emergency at school, school personnel have been trained, and will react quickly to protect children. If the emergency is a fire, students will evacuate to their Assembly Area until authorities determine that it is safe to re-enter the buildings. If there is an earthquake, students will drop, cover, and hold on as trained until the shaking stops, and then will evacuate the building to the Assembly Area. Students will not return until the buildings have been inspected and it is determined to be safe to enter. In both of these cases, students are being led away from the building, which due to the fire or earthquake has become a possible danger to them.

If there is a hazard outside, such as a report of a person in the area with a gun, or a nearby chemical release, students will be brought inside, where the building itself will help protect them from danger. Schools will act to protect students, and are prepared to shelter the students inside classrooms for hours if necessary. If students are held for a lengthy period of time, there are plans in place for emergency food, medical and restroom needs – these plans vary depending on the nature of the danger to students. Read More


For more information, click on the links below

Earthquake Lockdown
Fire Shelter in Place
Tsunami Public Health


Communicating with the School during an Emergency

Schools communicate regularly with parents using the Blackboard Connect system, through which parents receive automated calls regarding school situations, including emergencies. If you are not receiving Blackboard Connect (Connect Ed) messages, check with your child’s school to ensure that the school has the correct number for you. It is imperative that we have phone numbers to contact you during an emergency. Make sure you update your school emergency card and contact information for each child each time the information changes.

Keep your phone with you during emergencies so that you can receive updates on the emergency by Blackboard Connect automated messaging service. Make sure you keep your address and phone numbers updated with the school so that you can be notified in the event of emergencies. Although there are people assigned to answer phones at school, during an emergency these lines are likely to be overloaded, and are not your best source of information. For school emergency information, check the following sources: the LAUSD television station KLCS, AM radio news stations 980 and 1070, www.lausd.net, your school's website, the official LAUSD Facebook/Los Angeles Schools, or the LAUSD Twitter feed@LASchools.


Downloadable School Emergency Information Card - This wallet card provides basic emergency contact information for the school your child attends. Download and complete this card and keep it with you in case of an emergency at school.


Schools have numerous ways to communicate with their own staff, other schools and district personnel, and outside agencies that may respond in the event of an emergency. These methods include a public address system and two-way radios, so that a school need not rely on the phone system.


Depending on the emergency, you may not be able to get close to the school and may be asked to wait in a safe area near the school. If it is hazardous for students to be released, everyone will be kept inside the school until notified by the authorities that it is safe outside. Schools will act with the safety of students in mind, and school officials will always follow the directives of the police department and the fire department.


Keep yourself informed of school procedures by attending parent meetings, reading the student-parent handbook, and school newsletter, and checking the school website periodically. Attend emergency drills, and ask about emergency plans when you visit the school.

Family Reunification Following an Emergency

When it is safe to pick up your child following an emergency, you will need to follow a special process to ensure everyone’s safety. The Request Gate is the station set up to identify yourself to school staff and request that your child be sent out. You must bring I.D., and you must be listed on the child’s emergency card in order to check a child out. You will then report to the Reunion Gate, where your child will be brought to you. Separating the two gates keeps crowding down, and lessens anxiety for children who may become frightened by a large crowd of parents.

Keep yourself informed of school procedures by attending parent meetings, reading the student-parent handbook, and school newsletter, and checking the school website periodically. Make sure your family is prepared for emergencies, too.

How Parents can be Better Prepared
Parents can be better prepared for emergencies at school and at home. Visit your child’s school and ask about what will happen during an emergency. Make sure your child’s emergency card is current and correct, and includes multiple phone numbers and contacts. If your child rides the school bus to and from school, make sure that the routing information is current and on the emergency card, as well as a designated adult who can receive your child in case you cannot be present.

Instruct your child to take all emergency drills seriously. Regularly review home and school emergency procedures with your child. Prepare a Family Disaster Plan and review it with everyone in your family. Practice your plan – emergency drills aren’t just for schools!
Prepare disaster supply kits for your home, car, and work. Make sure that everyone in your home knows where these kits are located. Eliminate the hazards from your home that could hurt you or your child in an emergency.
Check the Resources page of this website for links to helpful disaster preparedness websites and other useful emergency information.