Webster Elementary School

Webster School Comprehensive Disaster Plan

Webster School is prepared to deal with any kind of disaster that may occur. Should a fire, earthquake, or any other disaster occur, we are committed to the following goals:

  1. Provide for the safety of all children and staff members.
  2. Care for any child or adult who may have been injured.
  3. Be prepared to care for the entire student body and staff for up to 72 hours.
  4. Reunite the children with their families or other adults designated as emergency guardians in an orderly manner.
  5. Maintain communications with the proper authorities and with parents.
  6. Use common sense and good judgment at all times. If circumstances require us to deviate from our written plans, we will always do whatever is best for the children and their families.


We believe that we must prepare in advance in order to successfully deal with whatever kind of disaster may occur. We take the following steps in order to provide the highest possible level of readiness:

  1. Monthly fire drills and twice yearly earthquake drills, one of which involves the evacuation of the entire staff and student body to one of our potential evacuation sites: Pepperdine University, Malibu Civic Center or Malibu Bluffs Park.
  2. The purchase and storage of food, water, medical supplies, search and rescue equipment, temporary lighting, portable bathrooms, solar blankets and communications equipment.
  3. An "emergency supply backpack" in every classroom.
  4. Regular meetings of our Disaster Preparedness Committee with the District's consultant, and with representatives of emergency agencies such as the Red Cross, Fire Department and Sheriff's Department.
  5. The participation of a majority of our staff in a six-hour disaster training course provided by the Santa Monica Fire Department.
  6. Periodic revision of our disaster plan, based on our actual experiences and the training we receive.


Depending on the circumstances of whatever disaster may occur and the instructions given to us by the authorities, we will either remain at school or evacuate to another location. Only the Superintendent of Schools or his designee has the authority to close Webster School and order an evacuation. We are prepared to care for all of the students and staff for up to 72 hours. If we remain at Webster, we would sleep in the buildings if they were safe, or outside, if necessary. If we need to evacuate, we have the option of evacuating to Pepperdine University, the Malibu Civic Center, Malibu Bluffs Park, or wherever the authorities instruct us to go. In November, 1993, we evacuated to the Community Center on Point Dume.

We have developed detailed, specific plans for dealing with either an earthquake or a brush fire. These are explained below. We would modify these basic plans to deal with any other kind of emergency or disaster. We develop an annual Safety Plan, which describes in detail our responses to various types of emergencies.


Parents play a critically important role in helping us prepare for and deal with an emergency. Every family should make disaster preparedness a high priority by doing the following:

  • Maintain an accurate, updated, complete emergency card in the school office.
  • Develop and practice a family disaster plan. Everyone in the family must know how to communicate and where to go to be reunited in an emergency. The children must know which other adults have been chosen as emergency guardians and listed as such on the school emergency card. The children must be instructed not to leave school with anyone except these designated adults.
  • Parents must understand the importance of notifying the office whenever they pick a child up from school. We are legally responsible for the children and if we do not know what has happened to a child, we will be unable to give accurate information to a parent or relative when he/she calls to inquire about the child.
  • Parents must not attempt to take a child from school if they are not one of the people listed on the child's emergency card.
  • If your child takes any medication, or may require special medication in the event of an injury (for diabetes, epilepsy, hemophilia, etc.,) a supply of that medication and doctor's orders for its administration must be kept at school. Children on medication taken regularly at school should have an adequate supply for several days at school at all times.
  • Make all necessary disaster preparations at home. If you are prepared with food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, radios, etc., at your residence, the traumatic effects of a major disaster will be greatly reduced.


  1. When an earthquake occurs, the teacher instructs the class to "Drop, cover and hold." The children immediately get under their desks or other nearby furniture. They turn their backs to the windows and hold onto the leg of the desk under which they are located.
  2. When the teacher decides that it is safe, the class evacuates the building.
  3. Teachers will make every reasonable effort to bring every child down to the assembly area on the playground. Children who are trapped by debris or so seriously injured that moving them is a major concern are to be left behind.
  4. The following procedures will be followed to carry out the evacuation: Classes are grouped in "threes" wherever possible.
  5. After the initial "Drop, cover and hold," teachers will bring their classes outside into the hallway, or to the nearest safe area.
  6. Two of the three teachers in each group are designated to walk the three classes down to the playground. Aides and parent volunteers will help.
  7. One teacher in each group is designated to remain behind and do an immediate sweep of all three classrooms. The teacher will try to remove anyone who has been left behind if it can be done safely. The teacher will mark the doors as explained below. Then the teacher will report to the Command Center.
  8. Slash on the door (/) when entering.
  9. A second slash (making an X) when leaving if the room is clear.
  10. Write the number of trapped and/or injured above the slash if people remain in the room.
  11. When the two teachers arrive on the playground and the three classes are settled, one
    of the two is designated to report immediately to the First Aid Station. The remaining teacher will supervise the three classes, along with any aides and parent volunteers who are available.
  12. Search and rescue teams will return to those classrooms where it has been reported that help is needed.
  13. All necessary documentation, such as pupil control cards, class rosters, emergency cards, map of school and student medical information will be stored in the earthquake container and brought to the Command Center.
  14. Parents arriving to pick up children will report to the Command Center. A runner will be sent to the area where the classes are assembled. The child will return to the Command Center to be signed out to the parents or designated guardian. All traffic in and out of the field will be routed through the Reunion Gate adjacent to the Command Center. Order will be maintained at all times. Records will be kept of all children who are released.
  15. Webster students will be supervised by school personnel at all times, including overnight, if necessary, until every child has been released to a parent, or other adult designated as an emergency guardian on the student's emergency card.
  16. If circumstances require it, we will evacuate the school in accordance with the procedures described below in the Fire Evacuation Plan.


  1. In the event of an approaching brush fire, the Superintendent of Schools or his designee may order Webster School to be evacuated.
  2. By that time, the Transportation Department will have been contacted and buses dispatched to Webster. If it is impossible for buses to get to us, we will walk to one of our nearby evacuation sites in an orderly manner.
  3. We will maintain contact by telephone or short wave radio with proper public safety agencies.
  4. We will contact the principal at Our Lady of Malibu School and offer them the opportunity to evacuate with us.
  5. The children will be prepared by their teacher to leave Webster. Personal belongings, lunch,
    homework and games will be taken along.
  6. The office staff will gather a complete set of emergency cards, pupil medical records, medications for individual students, first aid kit, class rosters and pupil control cards.
  7. Any available district maintenance and support personnel will be dispatched to Webster to secure the school and help in any other ways necessary.
  8. When preparations are completed, the fire alarm is activated and all classes walk to the assembly area on the upper playground. At the direction of the principal, classes will then continue down to the bus loading area to board the buses.
  9. If Our Lady of Malibu is evacuating with us, they remain lined up on their playground until they are directed by the Webster principal to come to the bus loading area.
  10. At any time before the buses are loaded, students will be released to their parents or other adult designated as their emergency guardian. Records will be kept of the whereabouts of every child, and this information will be made available to parents who call or arrive at school after their child has been released to the other parent or designated emergency guardian.
  11. Every effort will be made to communicate our location to the public through the news media and through the district office.
  12. Webster students will be supervised by school personnel at all times, including overnight, if necessary, until every child has been released to a parent or other adult designated as an emergency guardian on the student's emergency card.

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District