Many of our families at Escuela Viva have been asking about our plan in the case of an emergency with the recent talk and news regarding earthquakes. Emergency preparedness has always been a very important and integral practice at Escuela Viva. Please see more info on what that means below. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please feel free to share them with Amelia, the director. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org, 503 282 2091 or just stop by the admin office sometime between 9 and 5. Thank you for reading and being an important contributor to our communities.
As a team there are several ways that we work to be prepared at all times. First off, all classrooms have the classroom emergency backpack (equipped with first aid and emergency supplies, as well as everyone’s emergency contact information) their sign in and a walkie talkie or cell phone with them at all times (inside or outside of the building as well as when on outings/field trips). Secondly, each classroom has an incident response binder in which there is a complete description of emergency protocol. Every staff member is expected to read and be familiar with this information as well as have current CPR and First Aid training. Drills are practiced monthly, with earthquake drills conducted every other month.
We also spend time reviewing such information annually at our August in-service. At the in-service, Angie, the executive director, provides us with different hypothetical emergency scenarios to which we practice responding. After each scenario, we reflect on our responses as a team.
At this time we have emergency food, medical and other supplies (radios, lights, etc) and blankets stored in our basement. We are currently working on creating another storage area for emergency food supplies outside as well in the event that we don’t have access to the supplies inside the building. An emergency water supply is equally as important. We are in the process of evaluating the best storage systems for water that will maintain a healthy water supply potentially both inside and outside. If you have experience with this and/or a great systems and would like to share your time and or ideas, please contact an administrator.
Earthquake retrofitting on our building
Our building had a complete earthquake retrofitting when we accommodated this building in 2010. The building was completely remodeled and for this process we had to go through the City of Portland permitting office which required earthquake engineering. The building walls have been reinforced with metal plates and earthquake approved metal screws (all visible in our basement, the main stair case leading into the basement and the exterior wall of our building facing the parking lot as well as the playground wall). The flooring joists and subfloor are all placed diagonally and additional plywood sheathing put in place in the attic to counter act front to back and side to side movement.
Your Part as an EV Parent
Please ensure that your emergency contact information is up to date at all times. It is also important that you ALWAYS sign your child in or out as the sign-ins act as our role call and in the case of an emergency we will fall back on this information to indicate which children are in attendance. Teachers regularly monitor this and will make sure children are signed in, though the responsibility first lies with the drop off and pick up individual.
We recommend that each family create their own emergency plan. We require all EV staff to have a family plan in place and on file as many of our teachers have children of their own. Family plans include a plan for which family member will pick up the child, where the family will meet and a plan for communication with one another. It is suggested that an out of state contact person be designated because following an earthquake the long distance phone lines are usually the first to be back in service. If possible each family member should check in with the out of state person to receive news from the others as well as update them on your status. There are more ways to be prepared and connected with your neighboring community members. Please see a few of the resources listed below for more information.
Resources for your own Emergency Preparedness Planning
Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
Sign up for public alerts on the above site and more…
Planning for Resilience & Emergency Preparedness