Civil Defence Emergency

Civil Defence Emergency Planning for Wadestown School

Emergencies can happen at any time. Wadestown School is prepared and has a plan in place to respond to emergencies to minimise the effect of a major disaster to all students, staff and other personnel on site.

Our school plan was developed in collaboration with the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) and it is regularly updated.

In any Civil Defence Emergency, the school will provide information and updates:

  • advising the situation (e.g. school closed due to snow)
  • what we are doing (e.g. supervising your child until picked up by a nominated person)
  •  what you need to do (e.g. arrange the immediate collection of your child).

This information will be available through:

  • Email: a short email will be sent to the email address in your child’s contact
  • Please do not ring the school office in an emergency as it will clog up the telephone lines.

Family Reunification Plan

Through our Student Management System (SMS) we compile a list of authorised caregivers who are allowed to collect children.  This list is updated annually at the start of the year.  We send regular reminders in our school newsletters throughout the year to notify the school if any details may have changed.

Please notify us as soon as possible if you change/update your mobile number, email address and/or street address.

Please complete this form to update your emergency contact details or to add an additional email address (eg workplace). Please note that the additional  email address will also receive all school communication and not just emergency communications.

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Student Name
Parent Name
Emergency Contact 1 to be added
Emergency Contact 2 to be added

Paper copies of the forms are kept in a labelled folder in the school office which is taken with us when we evacuate the school.  

Authorised caregivers

Please ensure the people on your list are aware of the expectation to pick up your children during an emergency, if it is likely that you will be unable to, or are delayed.

Authorised caregivers will be directed to the assembly points for collection from teachers of children. Our assembly points are the bottom fields at both sites.

It is important when selecting your emergency contact people that they are not also responsible for several other families should a major disaster occur. 

It is the parents’ responsibility to notify the school of any changes to your mobile phone/land line number, email address, street address or emergency contacts as soon as possible.   

How we communicate during an emergency

During any kind of emergency at our school, or affecting the Wadestown area, we will keep parents informed of what is happening via email.  If you receive an email message from the school that we have implemented the family reunification process, this means that we will only release students in a controlled situation to people who have been authorised to collect their children. 

The emergency contact person will be directed to the designated assembly point where their name will be checked by the teacher.  Their name, the time and where they are going is recorded beside the student’s name.  Teachers will also ask you to sign this record. 

Our designated assembly areas are the bottom fields on both sites.

  • Emergency procedures

This is the standard procedures the school will follow for school emergency communications:

Earthquake procedures

When there is an event of significance such as an earthquake, the school will communicate by:

  • Emailing a message to all email contacts that receive school communications; 
  • Posting a message on the home page of the school website;
  • Texting to the first two mobile contact numbers you provide

Earthquake Procedures

This procedure outlines what we will do in the event of an earthquake.  We follow the same procedure when practicing an earthquake drill.

When the ground begins to shake

  • Everyone will immediately DROP, COVER and HOLD.
  • We will look to our own safety first. We cannot help anyone else if we are injured ourselves.

When the ground stops shaking

  • Ensure our personal safety first
  • Check those around us and offer help if necessary
  • If anyone requires medical assistance, call 111 and administer first aid
  • Teachers and classes should stay where they are until they hear an announcement over the intercom – this will let people know that it is safe to move 
  • Teachers will collect their class roll and take their students to the designated assembly points. The assembly point for both sites is the bottom fields.

We will move to our designated off-site evacuation point if it is not safe to stay at the school.

Our designated off-site evacuation points are:

  • The Wadestown Civil Defence Centre at the Plunket Rooms on Wadestown Road, opposite the Wadestown Presbyterian Church in Hanover Street (Weld Street students only). 
  • Izard Park is where students and staff from Years 3 – 8 will walk to (Rose Street students only). 
Fire Procedures

Our procedures for fire evacuation are the same procedures used for fire drills.

If a fire is discovered:

  • Activate the fire alarm
  • Evacuate people from the area
  • Call 111
  • Extinguish the fire only if it is safe to do so

If the fire alarm sounds:

    • Teachers will collect their class roll and take their students to the designated assembly points (bottom fields at both sites). 

Our fire evacuation procedure is:

  • Walk calmly and quickly and avoid panic
  • Ensure students/visitors with mobility issues assisted by a responsible person
  • Ensure any visitors are included in the evacuation
  • Check bathrooms and common rooms on the way to the designated assembly point
  • Ensure all students remain at the assembly point until clearance to leave is given
  • Move staff and students to our offsite location if unable to stay on school grounds
  • Decide if a controlled family reunification is required

In the event we have to assemble off-site:

  • The Wadestown Civil Defence Centre at the Plunket Rooms on Wadestown Road, opposite the Wadestown Presbyterian Church in Hanover Street (Weld Street students only). 
  • Izard Park is where students and staff from Years 3 – 8 will walk to (Rose Street students only). 
Tsunami zone procedures
  • Our school is not in a tsunami zone, we do not need to evacuate to higher ground
Lockdown Procedures

This procedures is the management of the situation involving lockdown in response to a dangerous person entering the school, or if Police contact us and request the school go into lockdown.   

The aftermath of an intruder incident will be carefully managed by the Principal, Senior Leadership Team and the School Board to ensure traumatised staff, students and concerned parents are helped after the event.

If shots are heard or an intruder is seen on the premises

  • Call 111, identify yourself and your school, your address and provide all details the operator requests
  • If safe, move to safe positions to wait for the Police to arrive
  • Alert staff that the school is going into lockdown (using our lockdown button in the office OR a text OR an email – as appropriate)
  • Move everyone out of hallways and into rooms
  • Lock and/or barricade, or cover if possible all doors and windows
  • Keep quiet and do not leave the classroom unless it is safe to do so
  • Should the event occur while students are outside in playing fields: instruct students to move to the nearest secure room or to a safe assembly area (which may include an off-site area close to the school).
  • When Police arrive, follow their instructions
  • Inform parents when able to and update as required

What happens following the incident:

  • The Ministry of Education Trauma Incident Team will provide support.  Phone 0800 84 83 26
  • Decisions will be made to consider temporarily closing or continue operating. (The Trauma Incident Team will provide guidance on suitable responses)
  • Continue to monitor the wellbeing of students and staff

For detailed resources on trauma incidents visit:

Advice for other hazards

The School has processes for the following potential hazards and focuses on emergencies where our staff will take immediate, self-directed action. 

During or prior to the onset of other types of emergencies, officials such as Police, Civil Defence, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, or the Met Service will provide official advice.

Below are some general guidelines for some of these emergencies.

In all situations, call 111 if it is an emergency

Storm, flooding and snow

If stormy weather is forecast, we will consider how this may affect our school.

  • The School will give consideration as to not opening and will advise students whether to stay home. In such instances, an assessment of both sites will involve a walk around to identify any possible health and safety issues, before the school is reopened. 
  • If strong winds are forecast we ensure all objects that could be airborne and cause damage are secured away from the wind.
  • If heavy rain is forecast that could cause flooding we ensure all drains are clear and an outside check is completed. 

In the event of a health crisis, official guidance will be provided by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Gas Leak

If we can smell, hear or see a suspected gas leak we will turn off the main valve and call 111.

Consideration to whether the school needs to evacuate the area or the school.  Access to the building or outside area will be restricted until cleared by authorised personnel. 

Suspicious package or substance

When dealing with suspicious packages we use the utmost caution. We will not attempt to touch, move or examine the package.  We will call 111 immediately and follow the operator’s instructions.

Serious Injury or death

Our staff are first aid trained and in serious injury or death we will call 111 immediately.

Chemical spill

Our staff will call 111 immediately and consider evacuation or lockdown.