Emergency Preparedness Month: Be Prepared and Stay Informed

Emergency Preparedness Month

As part of Emergency Preparedness Month, IUSD would like to remind our community about the importance of being prepared for 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 go a long way in helping to keep our community safe. 

What You Need to Know at School

IUSD schools prepare to be self-sufficient.  Although 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, which are practiced during drills throughout the year. Additionally, IUSD teachers and staff continue to receive Stop the Bleed training to help save lives until emergency personnel can arrive on scene.

We maintain responsibility for our students. Campuses in the Irvine Unified School District will be secured and students will be kept at school until they can safely be released to parents or authorized guardians through an established reunification process. Your school or the District will provide information about reunification by phone, email and text messages first. Information will also be provided on your school’s website, iusd.org and 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/safety.

Stay Connected to IUSD
Staying connected to IUSD is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Check Your Email, Voicemail and Text Messages
IUSD schools and the District Office use SchoolMessenger for emergency notifications. During an emergency, first check your email, voicemail and text messages for the most up-to-date information from the District. If you unsubscribed from school or District emails, you will not receive important updates during an emergency. To re-subscribe, email helpdesk@iusd.org.

If you haven’t already opted-in for text messages from your school and IUSD, text "Y" to 67587 from each wireless device you wish to receive texts on. Not sure if you opted-in already? No problem! You can never opt-in too many times, just follow the step above. For additional information, visit IUSD's Text Message Frequently Asked Questions page.

2. Check our Website  
Visit iusd.org for updates and official information.

3. Check District Social Media 
During emergencies, IUSD posts information and provides regular updates.

And remember…keep your information up to date.  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

Be Prepared.  Visit the Irvine Police Department’s Emergency Management webpage for important information about how you can be prepared at home and work.  This comprehensive webpage has information about family safety plans, how to assemble a disaster supply kit, way to stay informed and other important information.

Stay Informed.  Register your work, home and cellphones with AlertOC, which 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 can be sent to your home, mobile, or business phones. 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.

Wildfire Preparedness. 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, visit Orange County Fire Authority’s Ready, Set, Go webpage at 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.