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Emergency Preparedness

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.

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. 

power shutoffs

In the fall of 2019, PG&E began implementing Planned Power Safety Shutoffs to reduce the risk of wildfires during periods of hot, dry, windy weather. AUSD was not a part of those shutoffs, as Alameda has its own utility. In the future, however, Alameda could experience shutoffs as it uses PG&E transmission lines to bring power to the island. 

You can learn more about what would happen at our school sites in the event of a PSPS on our Power Shutoffs page.

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