Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Lincoln County School District’s nationally recognized Safety & Emergency Preparedness Program has been created in partnership with our many fine emergency service agencies throughout Lincoln County.

Sue Graves
LCSD Safety Coordinator
Phone: 541-265-4442

School Emergency Information & Severe Weather Information Sheet

Emergency Plans

Lincoln County School District has worked closely with our local emergency response partners to develop an all-hazards, district-wide School Emergency Plan that is highly customized for our schools. We have also developed a comprehensive, all-hazards School Bus Emergency Plan. These plans are based on the needs of our schools, the specific hazards we face in Lincoln County, and our emergency service agencies’ procedures and response capabilities. Our emergency plans include procedures to help us respond effectively to emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, situations involving dangerous persons, threats, severe weather, medical emergencies, and more.

Each of our schools have a team of people designated as SAFE Team members. These staff members help with our drills and manage real emergencies when they occur. All of our SAFE Teams are equipped with portable two-way radios so that they can communicate effectively during an emergency.

Training & Drills

Lincoln County School District has a robust training and drill program to help prepare students and staff to respond safely in a variety of emergency situations.

Training Videos: We have developed more than 25 training videos filmed in and customized for our school district. The videos mirror our written School Emergency Plan covering topics such as earthquakes, lockdown, severe weather, threats, medical emergencies, etc. We also developed a video series for School Bus Drivers which corresponds to our School Bus Emergency Plan. Some of our videos have won national awards: a 2011 Bronze Telly Award for Excellence and a 2011 Silver W3 Award from the International Academy of Visual Arts. As part of our training program, school staff watch several of these videos before classes begin each year.

Drills: In order to practice our emergency procedures, we have a district-wide drill schedule consisting of approximately two drills each month. Drills include: fire, earthquake, shelter-in-place, room clear, reverse evacuation, and lockdown. After all of our drills (and real emergencies), school principals fill out an Emergency and Drill Report Form to review what was done well and how we can improve. Read more about our Drill Protocols. We also have various Emergency Kits and supplies to support the implementation of our drills and real emergencies.

Here is a brief description of some of our drills:

Code Yellow Lockdown: Used to limit movement on campus while an emergency situation is being assessed and managed, such as a medical emergency, a behavior issue, dangerous activity in the community, a suspicious person on or near campus, etc. Students are secured in their classrooms and instruction continues while school administration (and sometimes police) manage the situation.

Watch Video

Code Red Lockdown: More serious and is used to shut down the entire campus due to an imminent threat of danger such as a dangerous person on or near campus, a significant threat, or an act of violence on campus. In this case, everyone is secured in their rooms, doors are locked, lights are off, and everyone is on the floor and quiet while police help to manage the situation.

Watch Video

Shelter-in-Place: When hazardous materials contaminate the environment, whether from a hazardous materials spill in the community, excessive smoke from a wildfire nearby, a swarm of bees outside, volcanic ash in the air, etc., it may be necessary to temporarily seal off students and staff from the outside to prevent exposure to a contaminant in the air. This is called a Shelter-in-Place and includes taking immediate shelter inside; shutting down HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, air conditioning); and sealing off windows, doors, vents, and other openings to outside air.

Watch Video

Bus Expectations and Emergency Procedures:  At least two times per year, schools conduct a bus safety and behavioral review with all students. This includes instruction for (1) Safe school bus riding procedures, including but not limited to loading, unloading, crossing etc; (2) Use of emergency exits and evacuation of the school bus in case of emergency; and (3) Instruction on the bus behavioral expectations.  A bus evacuation drill is also reviewed with all students who are regularly transported by the district each spring.

Watch Video

Emergency Communication with Parents

Lincoln County School District has several ways to communicate with parents during an emergency.

LCSD Website: Check our website to get current information about school emergencies and school closures. The emergency information will be at the top of the page and as a news update.

REMIND messaging app: We will send a message to all parents/guardians, students, and staff via text or email (whichever the user chose). This message will be sent in both English and Spanish.

24-Hour Information Line: Call our 24-hour information line at 541-265-4437 to get current recorded information about school closures. * Please note, adverse weather conditions may make this phone line unavailable.

School and District Social Media Sites: District schools will post notices on their own websites and social media channels.

Mass Phone-Call Notification System: We use a telephone notification system, One Call, that allows us to send a recorded message to a large bank of phone numbers all at once. If there is an emergency at your child’s school requiring us to have an early dismissal, we can quickly send a phone message to your home and work phone numbers as listed in your child’s records. Please keep your child’s information updated and contact your school office if your phone numbers change.

Weather Conditions

Adverse conditions or other emergencies that affect the safety of our students in Lincoln County may require schools to be closed for the day. Sometimes isolated dangerous weather situations might mean the entire district is closed for the day since many of our staff and students live in one area but work or attend school in another area.

To get information about school closures, check our website and Facebook page. You can also check our FlashAlert page, our website, or our 24-hour Information line at 541-265-4437.

Family Reunification

A Family Reunification procedure is used when it is necessary to release students directly to their parent, guardian or designated emergency contact due to an emergency situation that prevents a normal dismissal. Situations which may require a Family Reunification include fire or damage to a school building, a natural disaster, a field trip emergency or school bus accident, violence in the community, or a situation involving a threat, weapons or violence at school.

Read Lincoln County School District’s written Family Reunification Plan or watch our corresponding 16-minute staff training video:

Parents & Guardians, please keep your emergency contact information updated at your child’s school. Be prepared to bring identification if you are ever notified of a Family Reunification process taking place for your child’s school.

School Emergency Shelters & Overnight Stays

If a disaster occurs in Lincoln County when school is in session, our schools may be used by the school district to shelter students. If a school is not in session, our schools may be used by the American Red Cross (ARC) to shelter community members. In some cases, there may be a need to open a small portion of the school to the ARC to shelter community members while school is in session or while the school is sheltering students. We have a written Sheltering Plan in place to guide the use of our schools for these three distinct functions.

When an emergency situation occurs requiring students to stay overnight at school, Lincoln County School District plans to house, care for and supervise students until parents/guardians or pre-designated emergency contacts are able to pick up their children. If an overnight stay is required, an attempt will be made to move students to the nearest designated shelter school. This may be done on foot or by bus. The following schools are designated as Emergency Shelters in each area of Lincoln County and are equipped with a generator and a disaster supply cache.

  • Lincoln City: Taft High 7-12 School
  • Newport: Newport Middle School
  • Toledo: Toledo Elementary School
  • Waldport: Waldport High School

If students at Oceanlake Elementary School are not able to relocate to the Taft High 7-12 School due to road conditions, they may decide to stay at Oceanlake Elementary if conditions are safe or relocate on foot to the Lincoln City Community Center or a neighboring church. We also have a disaster cache near Oceanlake Elementary to help meet their sheltering needs.

Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Disaster Supplies

Earthquakes: Earthquakes are a serious threat in Oregon and strike without warning. Key elements of the Lincoln County School District’s Earthquake Plan includes procedures to…

  1. take protective measures during the ground shaking,
  2. safely evacuate the building after the shaking stops, and
  3. account for, supervise and meet the basic needs of students afterward.

We practice earthquake drills, “Drop, Cover & Hold On” and a complete evacuation two times each school year at all of our schools.

Local Tsunami: A Local Tsunami is caused by an earthquake off-shore that we feel. After a large, Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, tsunami waves may begin arriving on shore within 10 – 15 minutes. None of our schools in Lincoln County School District are in the tsunami hazard zone.

Distant Tsunami: A Distant Tsunami is caused by an earthquake far away, which we do not feel, from an earthquake in Alaska, Japan or elsewhere. There is typically 4 or more hours warning of a Distant Tsunami before tsunami waves arrive onshore. All of our schools are equipped with NOAA Weather Alert Radios in order to receive immediate alerts of a distant tsunami warning or advisory for our area. Our Distant Tsunami Plan helps guide decision making regarding Distant Tsunami watches, warnings, and advisories.

Tsunami Maps: The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries have created new Tsunami Maps for cities in Lincoln County. They help citizens identify what areas are in the tsunami hazard zone and where to locate safe high-ground areas.

NOAA Tsunami Ready Supporter: In July 2013, Lincoln County School District was the first school district, nation-wide, to achieve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) TsunamiReady (TR) Supporter status due to our high level of tsunami awareness and preparedness.

WSSPC Award in Excellence: In 2007, Lincoln County School District received an Award in Excellence from the Western States Seismic Policy Council for “Outreach to Business/Government, Schools and the General Public” for our Earthquake/Tsunami Preparedness Program.

Crisis Response Team

We have a district-wide Crisis Response Team for times when there is a serious loss in the school community such as the death of a student or staff member due to an accident, suicide, illness, etc. This trained team helps students and staff in the grieving and healing process. To learn more, read our Crisis Response Team Protocols or watch the corresponding 20-minute video which is divided into four sections: 1) Administrator Roles, 2) Classroom Guidelines, 3) The Care Room, and 4) The Memory Activity.

OHSA Safety Committee

All of our schools have a safety committee that meets monthly to discuss potential safety hazards in the workplace. Represented by teachers, support staff, custodial staff and administration, these committees also conduct quarterly safety inspections and make recommendations to improve safety on their campus.


Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is a training program that educates high school students about disasters that may impact the area in which they live. Students learn hands-on disaster response skills that empower them to become a part of the school’s emergency response efforts and rescue their fellow students when professional responders are not readily available due to the magnitude of the disaster situation.

Teen CERT’s main priority is Safety: safety of the student responders, the safety of the people being rescued and the safety of the environment. Teen CERT uses the buddy system and students always wear personal protective equipment while performing rescues. Students are taught to think ‘safety’ in everything they do.

In Lincoln County School District, Teen CERT is delivered as a stand-alone semester credit class which is taught by a licensed school teacher also trained in CERT. Students go through the entire adult FEMA CERT curriculum and also gain knowledge from guest speakers from the community who are subject matter experts in the various CERT subjects. This also introduces students to a variety of interesting career paths.

Throughout the course, students participate in a great deal of hands-on practice and develop skills (not just knowledge) in several disaster response procedures. They engage in a significant amount of teamwork, learning how to work as a team, how to be a leader, a follower, a buddy, a good listener, and an effective communicator. Infused into the standard CERT curriculum are several hands-on Classroom Activities we developed to introduce and/or reinforce some of the CERT concepts and skills. After teaching the entire CERT curriculum, students are taken through a Certification process, demonstrating that they are proficient at specific essential CERT skills and knowledge.

Our Teen CERT program has received national recognition and has become a resource for many schools and communities developing Teen CERT programs of their own. In 2011 we were featured in the U.S. Department of Education’s Success Stories publication. In May 2015 our Teen CERT program was featured in a joint Webinar with the U.S. Department of Education and FEMA. In December 2015, our program was featured in FEMA’s CERT E-Brief.