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Emergency Information

Emergency Communications

We are committed to communicating with families as quickly and accurately as possible during emergencies, especially if the incident will affect drop off, pick up, or dismissal times. 

Depending on the situation, that communication may take the form of robocalls, emails, tweets (@AUSDNews),posts to the AUSD website or Facebook page, and letters sent home in elementary school students' backpacks.  We may also work closely with local media to get accurate information to the community.

Please also know we balance many factors when deciding what and when to communicate, including: 

  • Student and staff safety
  • The credibility and severity of threat
  • The needs of emergency responders
  • Legal mandates to maintain student and employee confidentiality

During any incident, school and district staff will be focused on ensuring the safety of students and employees. Multiple calls or visits to site or district offices from families can take staff away from responding to the crisis at hand. While we know it's hard not to know what's happening, please:

  • Wait to receive information from AUSD or your principal
  • Avoid spreading rumors or speculation, especially on social media
  • Stay away from the school site, as emergency responders may be working to secure the scene, and the situation may be dangerous for bystanders.
Introduction

Student safety is AUSD's primary priority and one to which the district devotes a wide variety of resources, including training, equipment, supplies, school-specific and district-wide drills, and planning. The district is also committed to helping families understand how schools handle emergencies and how families develop their own emergency supplies and plans.

 

The district has put state-of-the-art emergency procedures (PDF)in place. These procedures were created in collaboration with local law enforcement and are based on nationwide best practices.

Learn more about the procedures (PDF)

 

Each school practices these emergency procedures throughout the year. Schools drill for fires, earthquakes, intruders, and other potential emergencies. The district also works closely with the Alameda Police Department, the Alameda Fire Department, and other agencies to continually prepare for a unified response to potential disaster scenarios.

 

In addition, every school has a three-day store of food and water, first aid materials, and other emergency supplies on site so that staff can take care of students in case of a disaster.

 

We encourage our families to review AUSD's emergency procedures with their students, to develop emergency plans for their families and/or neighborhoods, and to create and replenish their own earthquake kits on an annual basis. 

air quality alerts

ince October 2017, the Bay Area has experienced a number of days with poor air quality due to fires in northern California. 

 

When schools are in session,  AUSD follows the guidelines in the "School Air Quality Activity Recommendations, which were created by the California Department of Education in partnership with the California Air Resources Board, California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, Association of California School Administrators, and California School Boards Association. The template that AUSD will be following is below. 

 

To determine local air quality, district staff monitor several websites, including:

When the air is particularly bad, district staff check these sites on the hour so as to be able to communicate accurate information to the sites. District staff also consult with surrounding districts and the Alameda County Office of Education to determine what steps to take to minimize the risk for students and staff.

For the 2021-22 school year, the situation is more complex, due to the need to balance using  outdoor spaces at lunch and recess (to protect against COVID-19) with the need to keep students indoors in the event of unhealthy air. At its September 28 public meeting, the Board of Education approved new protocols for unhealthy days that include closing in-person instruction when AQI hits 200 or above. 

power shutoffs

 

In the fall of 2019, PG&E began implementing "Planned Safety Power Shutdowns" (PSPS) in California to reduce the risk of wildfire during periods of hot, dry, windy weather.  So far, Alameda has not been subject to a PSPS because the island has its own utility, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP). In the future, however, a PG&E power shutoff could result in a power outage in Alameda, as AMP uses PGE&E’s transmission lines.

 

Please be assured that we have plans and procedures in place to prepare for such an outage, and we have been in touch with AMP, the City of Alameda, and the Alameda County Office of Education about what would happen in those situations and how best we should respond.

 

To learn more about planned power shutdowns, please visit PG&E's FAQ.  Please be aware, however, that PG&E maps, when posted, cannot be used to track planned power shut-offs in Alameda, as we are not on the PG&E grid.

 

How to Stay Informed about Outages at AUSD Schools

In the event that schools need to be closed for a PSPS, we will:

 

  • Send out a robocall, text, and email to all students, families and staff at the affected schools the day or evening before the planned outage  
  • Post the list of closed schools on our homepage
  • Post information to our social media channels  
  • Twitter (@AUSDNews)
  • Facebook (Alameda Unified School District)
  • Disseminate information to school sites to share with families

While we have no control over these types of power outages, we want to emphasize that we are developing plans, we are in touch with our local and regional partners as to best practices, and are doing our very best to be prepared so that we can keep you informed and students and staff safe.

HOW TO STAY INFORMED

We also recommend that families sign up to get emergency alerts from local and regional aurthories, including:

 

  • City of Alameda (text your zip code to 888777) 
  • Alameda  Municipal Power (go to www.alamedamp.com); and

 

Alameda Prepares

In 2017, AUSD and the City of Alameda joined forces to help more community members get prepared for an emergency by organizing an island-wide, multi-week earthquake preparation project. The two agencies created eight weeks of tips to lead community members through collecting supplies, finding appropriate containers, and creating an emergency plan for friends and family. We also wrote a layperson-friendly guide to general principles of emergency preparedness.

Find Preparation Materials