Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Earthquake Emergency Policy & Procedures


The purpose of the Highland Avenue Christian Schools Earthquake Emergency Policy and Procedures are as follows:

  1. To provide a policy statement for school staff, students, and their parents relative to earthquake preparedness for the school.
  2. To set forth an earthquake preplanning policy designed to prepare both the students and faculty to survive a major earthquake.
  3.  To outline procedures to be followed during and after an earthquake disaster.


It is the policy of Highland Avenue Christian Schools that the highest level of earthquake preparedness shall be maintained at all times.  This means that all school employees are to be adequately trained, and that emergency equipment and supplies are in a constant state of readiness.  Each school year, the administrator shall appoint a staff member as the Earthquake Preparedness Coordinator (EPC), who shall be responsible for the ongoing earthquake disaster preplanning for HCS.  It is also the responsibility of each individual school employee to maintain his/her respective work area and emergency supplies in a state of readiness.

The intent of this Earthquake Emergency Policy and Procedures is to provide for preplanning, preparation and education in order to minimize the possibility of death and injury when a major earthquake occurs.


  1. School Staff
    1. Evacuation Routes
      Each classroom, office, and room in use must have a route by which personnel may evacuate their building.  In designating these routes, be aware that any overhang on the building will probably fall, thus blocking the exit.  Any object located overhead will be a hazard.  Furniture or files, if near a door, may block that door.  Indicate primary evacuation routes and alternative routes in available site plans.  Indicate the evacuation routes in red, together with a designated assembly area for that room or office.  These emergency evacuation site plans shall be located adjacent to every exit door in each classroom, office, and room.
    2.  Assembly AreasAfter evacuation, all classes and other personnel must assemble in their assigned areas.  The assembly areas will include the courtyard and the Day Care Playground, which are away from trees, power/light poles, and wires.  A staff member will be designated to be in charge of each assembly area, and she/he will have a predetermined list of classes and/or personnel who will be reporting to him/her.
    3.  Teacher Alternative
      In the event that a teacher is incapacitated during an emergency, an alternative should be available.  A nearby teacher should be assigned or chosen as a “buddy” teacher.
    4.  Emergency Command Post
      An Emergency command post will be established immediately after the event, preferably in the Neal Fellowship Rooms if it can be safely occupied.  If these are unsafe, the command post will be established at the north end of the Courtyard.
    5.  Parent Letter
      At the beginning of each school year, a letter shall be sent to the parents of each child, which will include the following:

      1. –A short summary of the HCS Earthquake Plan.
      2. –Release procedures for students after an earthquake.
      3. –Site map of the school indicating the command post locations and the student pick-up area.
      4. –Suggested list of home preparation items.
      5. –A list of items to be included in each child’s school emergency kit or the cost of a basic emergency kit.
  2.  Student Preparation
    1.  Students should know the following:
      1. “DROP” position – drop to knees; place hands over back of head with arms over ears; and lay forehead on knees.
      2. Evacuation route.
      3. Expect a very loud noise.
      4. Assembly area location and to whom to report.
      5. Who to follow in case of teacher injury (buddy teacher).
      6. Desks and tables will vibrate and move.  Be aware of this, and move right along with the furniture.
  3.  Student Retention Procedures
    1. For the safety and security of staff and students, the school grounds will be closed to all persons except emergency response personnel, following an earthquake.  Students will be kept at the school until a parent or an authorized person can assume custody of the student.  Should a student not be picked up, they will remain at the school and receive proper care.

      1. Students will be retained by the Student Supervision Team at the designated assembly area.  They will be kept together and not be permitted to wander away from the group.
      2. The Student Supervision Team will take roll periodically.  Any missing student will be reported to the site coordinator, giving the last known whereabouts.
  4.  Student Release Procedures
    1. The basic goal is to reunite the students with parents as quickly as possible.  To avoid illicit pick-up of children the following procedures shall be followed:
      1. The student’s registration card should indicate a person other than the parent who is authorized to pick up the child.
      2. Parents who wish to pick up their child are to be directed to the Student Release Team.  The Chairperson of the Student Release Team will contact the area that has the child and the child will be reunited with the parent or authorized person at the Release Center.  The person picking up the child must sign a roster indicating that the child has been released to their custody and present I.D. to verify their identity.
      3. Not all parents will comply with the above procedures.  It is possible that some will arrive in the assembly area unannounced.  The Student Supervision Team must make sure that whoever appears signs the roster in the command post as having taken custody of the child.
  5. Emergency Teams
    1. Eight emergency teams, designed to control all aspects of activity following an earthquake, will be organized and staffed by school personnel.  These teams will be activated immediately after the disaster.  All teams will be ongoing except the Search, Rescue and Damage assessment teams, who will help other teams as assigned when their job is completed.



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