September is Emergency Preparedness Month, which is an opportunity to remind our community about the importance of being prepared for emergencies. In addition to campus safety preparedness and trainings, IUSD also prepares for a variety of emergencies. Not only do we live in an earthquake zone but we also live in a region that is prone to wildfires, among other potential hazards, which means that preparation now can help keep our families safe during an emergency and help our community recover from a large scale event.
Below is information about what IUSD does to prepare our schools in the event of an emergency, tips for what you can do to be prepared and important information and resources from the Irvine Police Department. Please take a moment to read the following resources.
What You Need to Know About District and School Planning and Preparedness
Campus safety is a top priority for IUSD and our schools. IUSD’s priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community. To this end, our district has embraced a multi-pronged approach to safety that includes investments in campus security, technology, mental health and wellness, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), student and staff trainings, safety assessments, campus security personnel, and partnerships with the Irvine Police Department (IPD) and other local, state and national law enforcement and first responder agencies.
IUSD continually reviews our procedures, practices and resources to help foster a safe learning environment for all students. Visit our Safety Resources webpage at iusd.org/SafetyResources, which includes the following information:
- District and Campus Safety Initiatives
- Our Partnership with the Irvine Police Department
- Student and Parent Roles in Supporting School Safety
- How to Stay Connected to IUSD
- The Emergency Preparedness Interagency Collaborative
- Reunification Protocols
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
- Mental Health and Wellness Resources
- Fire Arm Safety
- Additional Resources, Including Archived Safety Presentations
- IUSD Emergency Planning
IUSD plans and prepares for disasters and to be self-sufficient. IUSD and our schools plan and train for a wide range of possible disasters. Though IUSD works closely with the Irvine Police Department, the Orange County Fire Authority and other agencies, it may be necessary to coordinate our own response efforts if emergency personnel are tending to more immediate needs. IUSD staff members have been assigned specific roles and responsibilities that are practiced during drills throughout the year. Additionally, IUSD teachers and staff receive Stop the Bleed training to help save lives until emergency personnel can arrive on scene.
IUSD maintains responsibility for our students. IUSD campuses are secured during emergencies and disasters. During normal school hours, students will be kept under the supervision of school personnel, whether on campus or off campus, until they can safely be released to parents or authorized guardians through an established reunification process and in coordination with the Irvine Police Department. Your school or the District will provide information about the reunification location(s) by phone, email and text messages first. Information may also be provided on your school’s website, iusd.org and District social media.
IUSD has an established parent/child reunification process. Students will only be released to persons listed on the school’s emergency contact card. If you are not sure who is listed on your emergency card, login to Parent Portal and go to the “Contact” page. Here you will be able to see who is an authorized emergency contact and the date it was last updated. Please be sure to keep this information up to date.
When picking up your child, the authorized adult must have a valid picture ID, such as a driver’s license, state identification card or passport.
For more information about IUSD student and campus safety resources, visit iusd.org/SafetyResources.
Stay Connected to IUSD
Staying connected to IUSD is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- During an emergency, first check your email, text messages and voicemail for the most up-to-date information from your school or the District.
- Visit iusd.org and/or iusd.org/News, where important alerts and ongoing updates are posted.
- Follow IUSD social media sites on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
To learn more about staying connected to IUSD, visit iusd.org/Connect.
Keep Your Information Updated. Make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information. Be sure that your school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pick-up. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls, so it is important your school knows how to reach you. Login to Parent Portal and go to the “Contact” page. Here you will be able to see who is an authorized emergency contact and the date it was lasted updated.
What You Need to Know at Home and Work
Visit the Irvine Police Department’s Emergency Management webpage. For important information about how you can be prepared at home and work for an emergency, visit the Irvine Police Department’s emergency preparedness webpage at cityofirvine.org/prepare. This comprehensive webpage has information about family safety plans, how to assemble a disaster supply kit, and other important information.
Register your work, home and cellphones with AlertOC. AlertOC is a mass notification system designed to keep Orange County residents and businesses informed of emergencies. By registering with AlertOC, time-sensitive voice messages from the City of Irvine may be sent to your home, mobile, or business phone. Text messages may also be sent to mobile phones, e-mail accounts, and hearing impaired receiving devices. For more information or to register your phones, visit AlertOC.org.
Those living in areas prone to wildfires should take extra precautions. The Irvine Police Department has partnered with the Orange County Fire Authority to help residents protect against wildfires. Residents in at-risk areas – including Quail Hill, Shady Canyon, Portola Springs, Turtle Rock, and Orchard Hills should especially review the following:
- Protect your home by taking steps to mitigate risk, including creating defensible space
- Assemble a bag filled with necessities such as clothes and medication
- Plan evacuation routes and leave early in the event of a wildfire
- Prepare a family reunification plan.
For more information, go to cityofirvine.org/prepare or ocfa.org/rsg.
What You Can Do in the Community
The Irvine Police Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a free program designed to prepare citizens to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster. For more information, visit cityofirvine.org/CERT or email CERT@cityofirvine.org.