Disaster Preparedness in Our Schools

The recent earthquake activity in the Napa and Vallejo areas has been a stark reminder of how important it is to be prepared. The Berkeley Unified School District has made disaster preparedness a priority for the past decade. Active teams of staff, parents, and volunteers in every school have worked to place emergency containers with essential supplies in the event of a disaster. Site emergency response teams have been trained in the use of these supplies, and safety plans are in place at every school.

Emergency drinking water with 30 year shelf life delivered to all BUSD Emergency Containers.

Emergency drinking water with 30 year shelf life delivered to all BUSD Emergency Containers.

Emergency Supplies: Emergency drinking water for all of the containers was purchased by the school district and delivered to each school over the summer. The cans have a 30 year shelf life, and replace the bottled water that needed to be changed every three to five years. Additional new supplies are being provided to the containers, and full scale emergency supply kits are being secured for every BUSD school bus.

Emergency Drills: Emergency drills take place in the first weeks of school. From fire and earthquake drills to lock-down drills and shelter in place, teachers and students will be well-prepared.

Staff Training: Teacher and staff training and preparation are an important part of of being prepared in the event of an earthquake or other disaster. Each school’s designated response team is trained for specific responsibilities, including First Aid, Light Search and Rescue, Sheltering, and Command Post.

The City of Berkeley is conducting a Citywide Emergency Exercise on October 18th, and BUSD will be participating. Families are also encouraged to join in the activities. Look for information that will soon be coming home with your student. You can sign up or get more information: www.CityofBerkeley.info/prepare

Your Family Plan:  Talk to your children about your family emergency plans. For ideas on how to prepare your family for earthquakes and other emergencies, check out the TotallyUnprepared.com website with sections in English, Spanish and Chinese, or the Red Cross page for families.

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