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Newport-Mesa Unified School District Emergency Preparedness Overview

The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance at Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD). The District has plans and processes in place to respond to unfortunate and unplanned events and to communicate accurate and timely information with you.
 

All NMUSD schools have safety plans, which outline emergency procedures for natural and man-made disasters. Safety plans are regularly reviewed and updated in collaboration with emergency responders and local law enforcement, including school resource officers. School resource officers are local law enforcement officers from the City of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach police departments, who are on many of our school campuses to provide security and crime prevention services.
 

Schools regularly participate in safety drills, threat assessment, and emergency response trainings with students, local law enforcement and first responders. Safety drills prepare staff and students for a variety of potential situations. Some examples include earthquakes, fire and intruder/active shooter.
 

The safety drills include procedures for a lock down, shelter in place, drop/cover/hold, run, hide, act, and evacuation. Every school and District facility also has emergency supplies in multiple locations and various individuals responsible for ensuring that there are adequate and properly maintained supplies and equipment.

Examples of some of the essential items include:

  • First aid

  • Food and water

  • Flashlights, radio and batteries

  • Portable toilets

  • Blankets

For large scale events involving multiple schools or regional incidents, the District collaborates beyond local governments, law enforcement, first responders, and utilities. NMUSD follows California’s Standardized Emergency Management System and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Incident Management System. These systems include emergency management collaboration among county, state and federal agencies, and community organizations on a cohesive approach to emergency response.

 

Every situation is unique and may include distinctive response approaches and communication methods. Parents may expect communication via email, phone call, news postings on the District and school websites, social media postings, and mobile app alerts. The District also works closely with local media to disseminate information to keep parents and the community informed as best as possible, always keeping in mind that the safety of students and staff is the priority.

 

It is common knowledge that viral information disseminates quickly. One inaccurate text or social media post can trigger a full speed rumor mill and create unnecessary panic. The District has a responsibility to provide accurate and timely information and will do its best not to perpetuate misinformation. This is especially important during an emergency when the situation (and subsequent information) can change rapidly.

 

Depending on the emergency, the first communication that parents and community members can expect to receive is the basics. If these questions can be answered, communication may include: what happened, when it happened, what the district is doing about it and how to stay informed. Updates may include information regarding changes in dismissal times or transportation, the location of the parent re-unification area, incident updates, and other important information.

 

Tips for parents:

  • Do not go to the school or call the school during an emergency. School administration

    will be focused on keeping students and staff as safe as possible. In some instances, additional presence on campus also may impact law enforcement’s investigations and searches.

  • Contact your school and ask their staff to familiarize you with your school’s comprehensive school safety plan.

  • At the conclusion of an emergency, be sure to bring your identification to the re-unification area in order for your student to be released to you.

  • Be active in your child’s education: ask questions, get involved- join the PTA, school foundations, parent advisory councils, etc.

  • Stay connected - provide current contact information to your child’s school, check district and school website news feed, follow district and school social media accounts, and download the district mobile application.

Tips for students:

  • Take emergency drills seriously.

  • Follow teacher and site administrator instructions.

  • See something, say something. This is the best deterrent to potentially harmful

    situations.

For more information or questions regarding school emergency response, please contact your child’s school.

 

Posted by: Matthew Jennings, District Admin, Newport Mesa Unified School District Published:10/28/16
Audience: Homepage