Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Response
It is a goal of the school district to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students. Schools regularly participate in drills including earthquake drills shakeoutbc.ca and fire drills. All school sites maintain emergency and first aid supplies in the event of an emergency.
Please read the list of Emergency Supplies stored at schools.
In addition, to natural disasters, our schools are also prepared for other risks and threats of dangers ranging from health related issues to potential intruders.
The school district has established a number of regulations to maintain a safe environment. To view our school district regulations, go to the following link.
Our response to an emergency will vary depending on the situation. Any response will be a coordinated effort with our local support and emergency agents. The school district works in partnership with the RCMP, the Fire Department, Coastal Health, the Ministry of Children and Family and the SCRD – Emergency Response Program.
Helpline for Children – 310.1234 (no area code needed)
In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, School District 46 will respond to the situation in a coordinated effort with the Sunshine Coast Emergency Program.
- Please view the Program Flow Chart (although not indicated, SD46 is included as part of ‘Local Government’ in the top box). The Sunshine Coast Emergency Program regularly monitors our readiness for an emergency and has facilitated simulated drills such as ‘Shake “N” Bake – After Action Report / Improvement Plan.’
- Please read more on Earthquake Preparedness: Before, During and After (Emergency Management BC).
With the arrival of May comes Emergency Preparedness Week, an annual event to encourage Canadians to pause, reflect and take action around being better prepared for a major emergency. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Stock up on water: 4 litres per person per day, for a minimum of 3 days.
- Stock up on emergency food: a minimum 3-day supply of ready-to-eat foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. Don’t forget the pet food.
- Gather emergency supplies: First Aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, battery-powered radio, work gloves, personal sanitation supplies (garbage bags/moist towelettes), whistle, and dust mask. Put it all together in one spot that is quickly and easily accessible.
- Make a reunification plan with your family. Where will you meet? Who will pick up your children from school if you aren’t able to get there? Talk this through with your family.
Schools have a number of procedures in place to handle emergencies from minor to major emergency situations. These procedures are continually updated and protocols have been developed for critical incidence interventions. In the event of a major emergency, the school is prepared to care for your child if you are unable to reach the school.
If there ever is a major emergency, we ask for your help in the following ways:
Please do not telephone the school. The lines must be open for emergency calls.
Please walk to school and do not drive. The school access routes and entrances must be clear for emergency vehicles.
A student will ONLY be dismissed if a parent/guardian or contact person previously identified by a parent comes to pick up the child. The parent or designated guardian must report to the office or Command Centre to sign out the child. Please make sure all of your emergency contact information is up-to-date.
Please turn on your radio for instructions and news reports. Check the school district website for notices and critical information. Be prepared at home. Make your children aware of safety issues and what to do in the event of an emergency. Have emergency kits in your home and vehicle.
Home Emergency Kit – Vancouver Coastal Health recommends that each household be prepared to have emergency supplies for a minimum of three days. Please view the emergency kit.
Please see recommended supplies list.
We have a number of drills in place to prepare our students to handle various emergencies. These procedures are continually updated and protocols have been developed for critical incidence interventions.
The fire drill involves an evacuation of the building and the taking of attendance in a timely manner. Our earthquake drill involves a simulated announcement that signals to the students to drop, cover, and hold. The lockdown drill allows us to practice what to do in a situation when there is an intruder in the building or when the danger is outside, but in the immediate vicinity.
We do not publish the exact times of our drills but the teachers receive some advance notice so they can prepare their class for them. While it may be unpleasant to think that we need to practice such drills in the school setting, the need to maintain a safe and caring school environment extends to being prepared for natural disasters and other external dangers. Any discussions that you might have with your children about such drills would be helpful for the school.
Safety and Security Information
We very much encourage parent participation and presence in our schools. The following procedures are in place for safety reasons. Please adhere to the following:
- Check in at the school office when coming into the school during the school day.
- Please do not be offended if asked by a staff member to identify yourself and explain your reasons for being on the grounds or in the school ‐ they are just doing their job to keep students safe.
Violent Incident Response Plan
Lockdown – A lockdown procedure protects staff and students from a threat inside the building such as an intruder. Activating lockdown quickly will potentially save lives, reduce injuries and will assist police and other emergency responders in dealing with the situation effectively. The RCMP may also call a lockdown procedure if an incident is occurring within the direct vicinity of the school and it is unsafe to release the students.
Room Clear – is an action initiated by a teacher or supervising adult to send students out of a room away from a potential threat. Students will be sent to a designated safe area, which may differ depending on the situation.
Community Threat Assessment Agreement – establishes a community protocol for dealing with high-risk student behaviour.
Current partners in the agreement include – Ministry for Child and Family Development, Child and Youth Mental Health, School District 46 and the Sunshine Coast RCMP.
Managing Medical Conditions
If your child takes medications that must or may need to be administered during the school day (this includes emergency medications/treatments such as EpiPens) please be advised that there are certain protocols in place. EpiPen should be with the student at all times (if possible provide a second EpiPen to be stored at the office). Any other medications must be stored in the school office (please do not send ANY medications to school with a child in their back pack or lunch kit).
The school works closely with families and the Public Health Nurse to maintain a safety plan for students. A safety plan must be established before administration of any medications by school personnel is allowed. Parents are welcome to come to the school to administer medications themselves if a doctor form has not been completed.
If your child has a known life-threatening medical condition or diagnosis (e.g. allergies resulting in anaphylaxis, seizure disorder, asthma, diabetes, etc.) please make an appointment with the Principal at the beginning of every school year to review emergency plans specific to your child’s condition. Parents should also please complete the “Request for Administration of Medication Form.”
Traffic safety is always an area of concern, particularly during the busy drop-off and pick-up times before and after school. Use extra caution in adverse weather conditions. Slow down and watch out for kids. Pay particular attention near schools. Reduce speed to 30 km/h in school zones on weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Do not pass school buses when their red lights are flashing, as this means that children are loading and unloading. If you are unsure of the school drop off procedure, please contact your principal.
Have your children exit the vehicle on the CURB side of the street instead of having them step out into traffic. Please encourage your children to cross at the stop signs instead of crossing mid-street (jay walking).
If at all possible, please assist us in decreasing the traffic congestion in front of the school by walking or riding bikes and scooters to school.
For further information regarding road safety please see the BCAA site.