Earthquake Preparedness

Graphic showing person dropping, crawling under a table and covering their head during an earthquake

What to do When the Earth Shakes

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter.
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).   
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.

HOLD ON until shaking stops.

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

If you are near the ocean and feel a large earthquake, Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops. Then walk inland and up to high ground. Do not wait for an official warning. A tsunami could come ashore in a few minutes.

School Preparedness

The Beaverton School District recognizes that what we do now, before the earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after. ​Although there is still much work to be done, the District has taken several steps to better prepare our schools for an earthquake​.

  • All schools are required to conduct at least 2 earthquake drills during the school year; one during the Great Oregon Shakeout and one individual drill on their own.
  • Provided two way radios for communication during crisis situations​. 
  • Created a School Emergency Operations Plan template 
  • Updated the District Emergency Operations Plan (as of Fall 2017)
  • Supplied all 2,600 classrooms in the district with a 5 gallon emergency bucket and lid. The buckets contain a thermal blanket, glow stick, hand sanitizer, emergency vest, whistle, face mask, and first aid kit.
  • Supplied​ all front offices with a 55-gallon yellow bin containing a hand cranked weather radio, white reflective vests, solar charger, cowhide gloves, bullhorn with batteries, and a whistle.

Student and Parent/Guardian Reunification

If damage is minor, and infrastructure is mostly intact, bus and other transportation will proceed as normal. If damage is severe, buses will not run and parents/guardians will be required to pick up their students at school. Schools will use a controlled release process to reunify students with their parents/guardians. A controlled release is not a typical end of school day dismissal. Parents/guardians will be required to have identification readily available in order to pick up their student(s). Parents/guardians can expect the reunification process to take several hours. Parents/guardians should keep in mind that reunification is a process that protects both the safety of the students and provides for an accountable change of custody from the school to a recognized custodial parent or guardian. Individuals listed with the school under a student's "Additional and Emergency Contacts" who have been granted permission to pick up the student, are permitted to pick up the student during a controlled release as long as identification is shown. 

District Communication

If communication systems remain functional, Beaverton School District will communicate with parents and guardians using the normal communication channels. If communication systems fail, parents and guardians are expected to pick up students from school as soon possible. 

Getting Prepared at Home

Graphic showing what do do when an earthquake happens
Make an Emergency Plan

All Oregonians should start making their emergency plan today. Have a meaningful conversation with family and friends about what you'll do during an emergency. Develop a plan for how you'll contact each other, where you'll meet, and what you'll do in different situations. To get started, visit FEMA's for step by step instructions. 

Build A Kit

A disaster can happen anywhere you live and work. Once it happens it may take days or even weeks for responders to reach you, and you may have to go without food, water, or electricity. Build an emergency kit with two weeks supply of food, water and other necessary supplies for your home. Build a smaller kit for you car, work, and even your child's backpack. Include items such as a water bottle, snack, flashlight, whistle, emergency blanket, wipes, hand sanitizer, and a family picture. Think about the items that would make you feel more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. The American Red Cross is a good source for emergency kit items​

Be 2 Weeks Ready

For many years, emergency management officials have talked​​ about the importance of being prepared for 72 hours. But recent disasters have shown us that it may take days or even weeks for first responders and resource support to reach disaster affected communities. So while 72 hours is a good place to start, the goal should now be 2 weeks ready. Oregon Office of Emergency Management developed the 2 Weeks Ready campaign to encourage people to be prepared to be on their own for two weeks. For more information, please visit the 2 Weeks Ready​ webpage or the Oregon Office of Emergency Management YouTube channel​

Getting Started​

​Being prepared for disasters and emergencies can seem like a big job. Many people don't know where to start, so they never start at all. The​ Do 1 Thing​ organization can help you take small steps that make a big difference in an emergency.

Do 1 Thing is a 12-month program that makes it easy for you to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for emergencies or disasters. The concept entails doing "1 ​thing" each month so that by the end of the year, you have a complete emergency plan. The program breaks emergency planning down into small and easy steps to help alleviate the stress of doing everything at once. Once you have finished the program, you can go back and update what you have already completed.

Resilience Plan

The Beaverton School District has a special opportunity—perhaps even a responsibility. Our community approved a very large capital construction bond program in 2014 that includes building three brand new school buildings and replacing four more. In order to better support our community during an emergency, our District has determined that we should build these seven schools to exceed building code requirements in certain critical aspects in order to respond to the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission's Oregon Resilience Plan​. Operating within a very compressed timeframe to keep our projects on schedule and within constrained budgets, we launched an effort to translate the concepts of the Plan for BSD's first two schools into design criteria for our architects and engineers.