School Emergency Program Parent Guideline

School Emergency Program

A Guide for Parents and Guardians



A Message from the Principal

What Parents and Guardians Should Know

Schools should be considered one of the safest places in our communities even knowing that an emergency can strike anywhere at any time.

During an emergency, the safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. In order to provide an effective response to any school crisis, Dasmesh Punjabi School has developed an Emergency Response Plan.

The Dasmesh Emergency Response plan works together with other local emergency sectors, such as local Police, Fire Department and Ambulance services.  This collaboration is needed as a school emergency could require the involvement of numerous agencies.

As a school, we are required to complete 6 Fire and Evacuation drills, 3 Earthquake drills, 1 Shelter in place drill and 2 Lock Down drills. All staff is regularly trained on emergency protocols and drills are practiced throughout the school year.

For security reasons, certain components of our emergency response plan are not publicly available. The guide that follows, outlines the key elements of the Plan and answers questions parents frequently ask regarding emergency preparedness.

I hope you find this guide helpful and informative. We appreciate your support and assistance in our continued safety efforts.


Jaspal Singh Dhaliwal

Dasmesh Punjabi School


Keeping Safe

Throughout the year, Dasmesh Punjabi School conducts training and drills to help better prepare students and staff for possible emergency situations. When a school is confronted with an emergency, staff will assess the situation and then decide on a course of action.

These exercises prepare students and staff to act quickly and help to minimize a child’s fear during a real emergency. In addition to the procedures described below, Dasmesh Punjabi School staff and students also practise protocols such as “Drop-Cover and Hold,” a method of protecting vital body parts during some natural disasters. All staff and students are required to participate in these drills.

Lock-Down Drill

Lock-Downs are usually used in response to acts or threats of violence to students and/or staff directly impacting the school. During a Lock-Down all doors to and within the school are locked. No one is permitted in or out of any area once it has been locked. Students and staff must respond very quickly to a Lock-Down command to get to a safe location before doors are locked. No one, other than law enforcement, is permitted access to the building until the Lock-Down is over.

Fire and Evacuation Drill

An evacuation requires all students and staff to leave the school and go to an alternate location. At Dasmesh, this means evacuating to our soccer field. In other cases, students and staff may need to go to an evacuation centre. Our evacuation centre is Khalsa Diwan Society Gurdwara, located on 33094 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford.

Earthquake Drills

Dasmesh Punjabi School participates in the annual Great British Columbia Shake Out. The Shake Out is used to prepare students in the event of an earthquake. Students are instructed to “Drop, Cover and Hold On”

Shelter in Place Drill

Generally, Shelter-in-Place is used during an environmental emergency, such as severe storms or chemical spills. During a Shelter-in-Place, students and staff retreat to safe zones to seek shelter. This includes having students or staff who are outdoors come back into the school. Each school’s emergency response plan identifies the safest location for its occupants and how to seal a room from hazardous conditions. Students will not be released or dismissed until the situation has been resolved

Reuniting with you Child

We recognize when an emergency occurs parents will be worried and want to be reunited with their child as quickly as possible. It is our intention to make this happen. To ensure every child’s safety and the safety of staff, specific procedures have been established for releasing students. Parents are asked to adhere to the parent-child reunification procedures listed below. Staff will work hard to ensure these procedures take place without delay. Please understand the process will still take some time. We ask for your patience when you arrive at the Parent-Child Reunion Area. Parent-Child Reunion Procedures

  1. A Parent-Child Reunion Area will be established. Parents will be notified at the time of an emergency of the Reunion Area’s location. The location may not be at the school — the location will depend on the specifics of the emergency.
  2. You will be required to fill out a Student Release Request Form. This ensures all students are accounted for at all times and students will only be released to authorized individuals.
  3. Students will only be released to an individual designated as legal guardian or emergency contact on the student’s Emergency Card, which is completed at the time of school registration. Please be sure to keep this information current with your school, as the school will only release a child to someone listed as an Emergency Contact — there will be no exceptions.
  4. Valid identification is required to pick up your child. This is required to protect your child from any unauthorized individuals attempting to pick up students. Even if school personnel know you, you must still present I.D. as the school may be receiving assistance from other schools or outside agencies.
  5. You will be required to sign for the release of your child. This is extremely important, as it ensures your child, along with other students, is accounted for at all times. Do not take your child from the school or evacuation centre without signing for his/her release under any circumstances.
  6. Once you have been reunited with your child, please leave the area immediately. This is for your own safety and that of your child.

If you are unable to pick up your child, he/she will be kept at the Parent-Child Reunion Centre until alternate arrangements can be made. Your child will be supervised at all times.

When an Emergency Occurs

Although your natural instinct may be to go to the school to safeguard your child, please understand that doing so could impede the response to the situation. Going to the school may interfere with emergency crews’ and school personnel’s efforts to deal with the emergency. Extra vehicles and people at the site make the task more difficult. Please follow the instructions provided to you through the communications channels outlined below.

Please do not come to the school to pick up your child unless requested to do so. If you arrive at the school in the midst of an emergency, please respect the protocol in progress. While we understand personal circumstances or initial reactions might move you to do something contrary to the school’s established procedures, we cannot compromise the safety of students or staff to accommodate individual requests that could put anyone at risk.


Parents are asked not to call the school or their child’s cell phone during an emergency.

  1. Phone systems need to remain available for handling the actual emergency.
  2. Overloading the system may mean the school cannot communicate with first responders.
  3. Calling your child’s cell phone during an emergency may be putting them at higher risk by disclosing their location or drawing attention to them during a lock-down.
  4. Experts advise that under some circumstances cell phones and other electric devices may actually act as an ignition source for fires or explosions.

Keeping You Informed During an Emergency

During an emergency, it is unlikely you will be able to reach the school by phone. We will, however, make every effort to contact parents directly or by one of the methods noted below.

Stay tuned to radio stations for news alerts.

Website, Social Media and Automated Phone System.

If you have any further questions, please contact our office (604) 826-1666


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