gmhTODAY 28 gmhTODAY Oct-Dec 2019 - Page 40

School Days: Gilroy Unified School District Emergency Preparedness: Stronger Together By Melanie Corona, Public Information Officer, Gilroy Unified School District I Earthquake preparedness: Students participate in the Great Shake-Out Earthquake Drill every October. School staff works with students to “Drop, Cover, Hold On,” and exit buildings safely. Emergency Action Planning: The City of Gilroy and GUSD both run an Emergency Operations Center, depending on the gravity of an emergency, and regular drill procedures for the EOC. All public employees 40 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN are disaster service workers, trained on how to handle emergencies where care for children must be provided for up to 72 hours. Fire Safety: GUSD schools are equipped with sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers and are inspected by fire professionals annually. Students participate in regular fire drills. Hands-Only CPR and AED training: Training is provided to high school students by the Gilroy Fire Department annually. Violence Prevention and Crisis Response: GUSD uses StopIT, an anonymous reporting app, at school sites. Students are trained to “see something, say some- thing, do something.” This mechanism is in place for them to receive the help they need. Students at every grade level participate in “Run, Hide, Defend,” a life skill that can be used in a number of scenarios regardless of location. GUSD and City of Gilroy jointly provide two School Resource Officers for the school district. The Gilroy community, our students, and our staff have shown incredible resilience. The safety of the GUSD community remains at the forefront for our District leaders and partners in all that we do. FALL/HOLIDAY 2019 n the aftermath of the Gilroy Garlic Festival emergency, our school district provided key support mechanisms and resources to students, staff members and community. We hosted crisis counselors at Christopher and Gilroy High Schools and Brownell Middle School for two weeks and provided counseling services to staff and students the first week of the school year. Rucker Elementary hosted the Family Assistance Center in partnership with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the Red Cross. Antonio Del Buono Elementary provided a meeting point for transportation to the reunification site. With the new school year underway, GUSD is committed to providing all students with life-skills education that includes: earthquake preparedness, emergency action planning, fire safety, hands-only CPR, AED training, violence prevention, and crisis response. Our district’s relationships with Gilroy Police Department, Gilroy Fire Department and the City of Gilroy are integral to our emergency preparedness planning. We collaborate with planning efforts and complete tabletop exercises and manda- tory drills to ensure best practices are used in emergencies. During an emergency, communication is critical to safety. The community can actively engage to support the com- munications process of these organizations. Gilroy residents should follow the City of Gilroy on its social media plat- forms (Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor); sign up for Santa Clara County Alert SCC ( and Gilroy Police Department Nixle updates (by texting 95020 to 888777); and register for the City of Gilroy’s Email Express Newsletter. GUSD student families can follow the district’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), and register their email addresses and phone numbers in Aeries Communications in order to receive emergency updates. Emergency communications are also posted on the GUSD websites ( GUSD recommends that families also establish emergency communication plans of their own. Learn more at gilroy- During the school year, our students practice for a number of different emergency scenarios: