• At School


Department of Public Safety
700 All America Way
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(408) 730-7190

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Office of Emergency Preparedness


Emergency Preparedness at School

An image of classroom with childrenThe City of Sunnyvale, Department of Public Safety, in partnership with Sunnyvale area schools, have organized a disaster plan to help support schools in time of disaster and emergencies. We are prepared for traditional crisis and emergencies such as earthquakes, fires, school shootings, and accidents, as well as, biological, radiological, chemical and other terrorist activities.

Depending on the nature of the emergency, school staff will act as disaster service workers at the direction of appropriate emergency management personnel. Public health and safety procedures will be implemented for the duration of an emergency. Students may be held in school, dismissed early, or transferred to evacuation sites, depending on the situation and direction of authorities.

As part of your family emergency plan, it is your responsibility to include the schools or daycare facilities your family attends. A school crisis plan will include partnerships with public safety agencies, including police, fire, health, mental health, and local emergency preparedness agencies. Schools are encouraged to develop a separate plan for each building. You should also include preparedness for specific needs of individual schools such as railway tracks and industrial facilities. Schools are encouraged to partner with nearby businesses to ensure that the school's crisis plan is coordinated with the neighborhood business crisis plan.

Each school crisis plan should address four major areas—prevention/mitigation; preparedness; response and recovery.

Prevention and Mitigation

  • Conduct an assessment of each school building. Identify those factors that put the building, students and staff at greater risk, such as proximity to rail tracks that regularly transport hazardous materials or facilities that produce highly toxic material or propane gas tanks, and develop a plan for reducing the risk. This can include plans to evacuate students away from these areas in times of crisis and to reposition propane tanks or other hazardous materials away from school buildings.
  • Work with businesses and factories in close proximity to the school to ensure that the school’s crisis plan is coordinated with their crisis plans.
  • Ensure a process is in place for controlling access and egress to the school. Require all persons who do not have authority to be in the school to sign in.
  • Review traffic patterns, and where possible, keep cars, buses, and trucks away from school buildings.
  • Review landscaping, and ensure buildings are not obscured by overgrowth of bushes or shrubs where contraband can be placed or persons can hide.


  • Have site plans for each school facility readily available and ensure they are shared with first responders and agencies responsible for emergency preparedness.
  • Ensure there are multiple evacuation routes and rallying points. Your first or second evacuation site options may be blocked or unavailable at the time of the crisis.
  • Practice responding to crisis on a regular basis.
  • Ensure a process is established for communicating during a crisis.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure it operates during crisis situations.
  • Have a plan for discharging students. Remember that during a crisis many parents and guardians may not be able to get to the school to pick up their child. Make sure every student has a secondary contact person and contact information readily available.
  • Have a plan for communicating information to parents and for quelling rumors. Cultivate relationships with the media ahead of time, and identify a public information officer to communicate with the media and the community during a crisis.
  • Work with law enforcement officials and emergency preparedness agencies on a strategy for sharing key parts of the school crisis plans.


  • Develop a command structure for responding to a crisis. The roles and responsibilities for educators, law enforcement and fire officials, and other first responders in responding to different types of crisis need to be developed, reviewed and approved.


  • Return to the business of teaching and learning as soon as possible.
  • Identify and approve a team of mental health workers to provide mental health services to faculty and students after a crisis. Understand that recovery takes place over time and that the services of this team may be needed over an extended time period.
  • Ensure the team is adequately trained.
  • The plan needs to include notification of parents on actions that the school intends to take to help students recover from the crisis.


City of Sunnyvale

Normal City Hours of Operation are
8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

(408) 730-7500

  • Sunnyvale City Hall
  • 456 W. Olive Ave.
  • Sunnyvale, CA 94086
  • TDD (408) 730-7501
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