EMERGENCY AND DISASTER POLICIES
The Department of Human Services and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) have recommended that all schools and childcare facilities formulate an Emergency Preparedness Plan. For your information, the Honolulu Waldorf School will adhere to the following plan in the event of a fire or a natural disaster:
As a general rule, if an emergency is announced over radio or television that the public schools are closing, we will also, in all likelihood, be closing. Under no circumstances, however, will we close until all children have been picked up by their parents or designee or until other suitable arrangements have been made.
Do NOT call us during emergencies. Please keep the telephone lines open and available for those who have urgent needs. During power outages the school has only one working telephone line. You should establish individual and family plans for emergency preparedness. If you need assistance, contact the Department of Emergency Management at 808-723-8960.
Should there be an actual emergency, you will receive an email and/or text message with further information regarding any of the following emergencies. This will tell you what is happening and how you should respond in order to pick up your child.
Should an earthquake of significant magnitude occur on Oahu, we can anticipate considerable disruption to our road networks. At both campuses, if we are indoors when an earthquake occurs, we will stay indoors and immediately take cover under desks, tables, in supported doorways, etc. If outdoors at the Niu campus, we will stay outdoors and move toward the back fence in the grades yard. If outdoors at the Makai campus, we will move as far away from buildings and utility wires as possible. When the shaking stops we will evaluate the condition of the school.
If the facility is sound, we will remain in place and listen to our battery-operated radio for DEM instructions.
If the facility is damaged, we will take the students to the closest designated DEM Shelter, which for the Niu campus is at Niu Valley Middle School, and for the Makai campus is ‘Āina Haina Elementary School.
The procedure for a ballistic threat is to “Shelter in Place.” Students will be brought indoors through our lockdown procedure and then walked to the specified gathering point. At Niu Mauka Campus, this will be the Niu Hall. At Makai Campus, this will be the auditorium. Emergency supplies for three days are available at both locations and include food, water, blankets, radios, flashlights, first aid, and toileting supplies. If the threat is a nuclear threat, students should remain on campus for two days before they are picked up to minimize radioactive exposure.
We practice building evacuation periodically. These drills are done during school hours and in our After School Care program. The signal for a drill is the ringing of the fire alarm bell. Those who have difficulty walking or have other physical limitations will be assisted during the fire drill. Children will leave their classrooms under staff supervision in an orderly fashion according to the evacuation plan posted in each classroom. Students at the Niu Valley campus will proceed to the back (makai) fence of the grade school yard. After a short stay, where roll will be taken, they will return to their classrooms. High School students will exit the building and proceed to Punahele Street on Kalanianaole Highway before returning to their classrooms.
In the event of an ACTUAL FIRE our evacuation procedures and destination will be the same as for a drill for the Niu campus and for the Makai campus (unless deemed to be unsafe). Everyone will proceed to ‘Āina Haina Elementary School. Children with physical limitations will be helped by a staff member. Should our buildings not be habitable, we will be housed temporarily at Niu Valley Middle School or ‘Āina Haina Elementary, and we will call for you to pick up your child as soon as possible.
The Department of Emergency Management has determined that the Niu campus is NOT in a flood zone. However, during extremely heavy periods of rain or under tropical storm or hurricane conditions, flooding in our area is possible. In the event we are advised to evacuate, we will follow the directions of DEM officials.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are intense weather systems, usually generated over warm Pacific waters from June through November, capable of producing damaging surf, destructive winds, and heavy flooding. HURRICANE or TROPICAL WATCHES are issued by the National Weather Service 36 hours prior to the arrival of storm effects. WARNINGS are issued when the storm could affect Oahu within 24 hours. When a WATCH is issued, we will monitor the storm and make a decision whether or not to close the school before the issuance of a warning. The timing of the closure will generally coincide with the end of a normal school day. If a WARNING is issued before school begins, classes will be cancelled and the school will be closed.
Lockdown procedures are in place in the event of a danger in the neighborhood or within school. In the event of a lockdown parents should not come to the school. Students will remain in their locked classrooms until it is safe to leave. Parents will receive an email and/or text communication with further information. In addition parents should not come onto campus during lockdown.
A tsunami is a series of waves generally caused by earthquakes on or near the ocean floor, anywhere in the Pacific Basin. The Department of Emergency Management issues TSUNAMI WATCHES and WARNINGS. A TSUNAMI WATCH means an earthquake that could produce a tsunami has occurred somewhere in the Pacific but the presence of waves has not yet been confirmed. A TSUNAMI WATCH means prepare.
A TSUNAMI WARNING means that waves have been confirmed and a threat to life and property exists. All coastal areas of Oahu (identified on the maps in the front of the telephone book) must be evacuated.
There is a new classification called URGENT TSUNAMI WARNING that refers to waves generated locally. If you hear this warning, those in evacuation zones have 40 minutes maximum evacuation time.
The Department of Emergency Management has determined that our Niu campus is outside the tsunami inundation zone and that our Makai campus IS IN the tsunami inundation zone, and has recommended that in the event of a tsunami:
If the tsunami warning is issued while school is in session, the Niu campus will remain in school and there should be no significant change in our normal routine. The Makai campus will be evacuated to ‘Āina Haina Elementary School. For your safety and to avoid contributing to unnecessary traffic congestion, it is advised that you NOT leave work and rush to school until the “all clear” is announced. We will take care of your children until pick up can be accomplished safely.
If the tsunami warning is issued before school begins, classes will be cancelled and the school will be closed.
As a general rule, if it is announced over radio or television that the public schools are closing, we will also, in all likelihood, be closing. Under no circumstances, however, will we close until all children have been picked up by their parents or a designee, or until other suitable arrangements have been made.
Please do NOT call us during emergencies. Please keep the telephone lines open and available for those who have urgent needs. During power outages the school has only one working telephone line. You should establish individual and family plans for emergency preparedness. If you need assistance, contact the Department of Emergency Management at 808-723-8960.
Please be assured that we will do everything we can to take good care of your children during any emergency or disaster.