Emergency Planning and Procedure


  • To ensure the safety of all staff, students and visitors should an emergency occur.
    ● To minimise stress on staff, students and visitors.
    ● To ensure appropriate consideration, support and consultation is made.

What and How?

  1. At all times a teacher’s first responsibility is the safety of the children until all clear is given.
  2. Signs are displayed in every room near the front entrance for Fire, Earthquake, Lockdown and Ash Cloud as well as a school map. This document is kept in the  folder near the door as well as
    Emergency Planning for Learning Support /High Needs Students is on the back.
  3. Efficient drills will be organised and regularly practised by the whole school, at least once per term and a record of the effectiveness and next steps kept of these. Students will also have emergency procedures explained to them regularly. Normal routine will be disrupted and all staff and students need to respond as if it is an emergency. Prior to conducting a lockdown drill the school will communicate with whānau and police informing them of when it will take place, to avoid any misunderstanding.
  4. In the event of a disaster or fire there will be a continuously sounding alarm with voice command to tell everyone to vacate the buildings via the safest exit to the evacuation site (top field) shown on map.
    If the power is off, the continuous ringing of the hand bell will occur.
  5. In the event of an earthquake, there will be a long continuous ringing bell/handbell. Pupils and teachers will seek refuge under desks using Drop, Cover, Hold, away from windows, until an appropriate time enables buildings to be vacated. If outdoors, move to an open safe space away from falling power
    lines, trees etc. Do not evacuate (Top Field) until you hear the second bell or it is safe to do so.
  6. In the event of a lockdown, there will be intermittent ringing of the bell for three minutes, depending on the emergency. All students and staff return to the classroom or nearest building seated on the floor and out of sight. Lock doors, turn lights off if possible and be silent. Any updates/communication with staff will be made through text messages, phone calls. Remain in lockdown until all clear, signalled by five short rings of the bell.
  7. Teachers, with attendance registers (found at the door) will lead classes to the designated assembly point on the top field. A roll must be taken once at the assembly point and any absences must be reported immediately to the Warden. 

If teachers are outside when an emergency happens phones can
access Etap for teachers to do roll calls.

  1. Learning Assistants need to sign in with the Warden.
  2. All visitors go to the top field and to be checked off this list. Admin staff to check Vistab.
  1. After Hours Evacuation (group activity, hall or classroom meeting etc.) procedure is used in an emergency outside normal school working hours – before 7:30am and after 4:30pm on school days. All groups that use school facilities at these times assume responsibility for the evacuation requirements as part of their use/hire agreement.
  2. Information about Evacuation Procedures and Emergency Actions are detailed within the MOE Emergency Planning Guidance Booklet and Otonga SchoolDocs


Communicating with Whānau

In an emergency, disaster, or crisis the school contacts parents/caregivers/whānau when it can, using the emergency contact details provided, and releases information to the school community as appropriate. Depending on the circumstances, our available communication options may include:

  • SeeSaw or texting 
  • putting up signs
  • emailing 
  • informing local media outlets

Parents/Caregivers must follow any instructions issued by the school, including not coming to the school to see or collect their children if advised.

This is particularly important when the school is in lockdown under police instruction. Our communications with whānau will explain how parents/caregivers can be reunited with their children in the event of school closure.

Teachers will monitor and record who was picked up and students will only be sent home with parents or when permission has been given prior.
Teachers let the Ako Team Leader know their room is clear and all children have been collected, then check in with Executive Leadership. Priority given to those with young/
school age children to collect as first to leave, those who need to travel a distance to home, then the rest of the staff.

Other Communications

Our communication plan includes procedures for notifying and liaising with the appropriate emergency service organisations and other relevant services and stakeholders to gain advice, support, and discuss logistics.
We also consider how to manage media enquiries. At our school, the designated media contacts are the presiding member and/or principal work closely to prepare a response to a media enquiry, and determine together who speaks to the media.