A Safe and Welcoming School

Earthquake Instructions

Earthquake drills begin with an emergency tone and are then announced over the school speaker system.

“This is an Earthquake Drill.”

During an earthquake or drill — Drop, cover, and hold.

  • In classrooms, students and staff should drop and get under the cover of a table or desk, face away from windows, and hold onto the legs of the table or desk. Close eyes to avoid flying glass or debris. Remain in place until the shaking of the earthquake stops , an order to evacuate is given, or the all-clear signal/end of drill announcement is given.
  • In the TOPS Gym (or other room lacking desks or other suitable head-cover protection), do not immediately drop, cover, and hold. Move to the south wall exits and shelter in the corridor between the main gyms. In a real earthquake event, if it appears safe to do so—proceed directly out of the building through the gym doors to an open area without overhead wires or other falling debris hazards, such as the athletic field. As the class
    relocates, teachers should advise students to cover their heads with their hands and arms to protect themselves from possible falling debris.
  • In the TOPS Library, drop, cover and hold. If there aren’t enough desks or other suitable head-cover, move out of areas under tall ceilings, to a corner, to the side of the room, or into a doorway, in order to be safer from the potential hazard of falling objects and debris. 
  • If you are outdoors, move away from the building, poles, wires, and other elevated objects. When you are away from the building, crouch low to the ground to avoid injury by being knocked down by the earthquake.

After an Earthquake: Follow TOPS Building Evacuation Instructions when told to evacuate the building.

  • Remain in the building until the shaking of the earthquake stops, or until you are ordered to evacuate, or until you hear the all-clear signal.
  • When evacuating a room, grab the emergency packet and then accompany your class via that room’s emergency exit route. If the way is blocked, use the fastest option available.
  • When you arrive with your class on the field, line up quietly so attendance can be taken. In an emergency, emergency aid responders must know right away if anyone is hurt or missing, so that appropriate first-aid or search-and-rescue may begin promptly. 
  • Remain with your class. A section leader will collect your list of missing and/or injured students.