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Emergency Response

All schools have comprehensive plans that help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies that might occur in the district.  

Depending on the type of emergency, staff are trained and follow specific safety procedures used during an emergency. Every situation is unique, so school staff may adjust their response to address student safety first.  

Here is what it means when a school implements one of the following procedures in response to a safety issue or emergency:

FULL lockdown: an emergency procedure that keeps students in classrooms with doors locked and prevents people from leaving or entering a building. 

  • • All exterior AND interior doors locked 

  • • Turn off all lights 

  • • Restrict viewing into the room by pulling shades and/or covering windows 

  • • Maintain silence as much as possible 

  • • Maintain lockdown status until the “all clear” is announced  

MODIFIED lockdown: takes similar precautions, but allows movement within the building. 

  • • All exterior doors locked 

  • • Classroom and inside school activities may continue as normal


Used to get students and staff out of the building by a predetermined route and assembled in a predetermined area. 

  • • Leave the building immediately in a calm, orderly manner 

  • • Go to the designated area 

  • • Stay with students, keeping them together 

  • • Account for students and assist persons with special needs 

  • • Follow all instructions given by emergency personnel


Shelter In Place
If a hazardous material is released in your area, authorities may request the school to “shelter-in-place.” 

  • • Stay indoors or move inside immediately 

  • • Close and lock windows and doors 

  • • Move to your designated shelter area 

  • • Seal off the room from outside air to the extend possible.   

  • • Stay calm and quiet 

  • • Wait for the “all-clear” from authorities


Offsite Reunification
In the rare instance that students are transported to an off-site location due to an emergency, families will be notified of where and when to pick up your child. We will notify you using our emergency communication systems and the contact information you have previously provided to the school.

Each valley school is assigned to a
for sheltering and managing student-parent relocation. Families should report as soon as practicable to the
reunification site. Upon arriving parent/guardians will be guided through the reunification process by school and district staff, and depending on the situation, emergency response personnel.


It is important that families make plans to reunite with their children at the site, not at their attendance school, so that the schools can evacuate quickly and safely.  

Here is information about what to expect when picking up your student at a reunification site: 

  • • You will be asked to show photo ID 

  • • Have patience and follow all directions by school staff 

  • • If you are unable to retrieve your child, the school can only release your student to someone who is on the emergency contact list you submitted to the school, or for grades 7-12 only someone they feel comfortable leaving with as authorized by the guardian and submitted to the school on the district enrollment form.


Lahar Response  

Living near Mount Rainier has potential hazards that include eruption, lava or ash fall and mudflows known as lahars. City of Puyallup Emergency Management, Pierce County Emergency Management, the U.S. Geologic Survey and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have joined together to create a plan for responding to any Mount Rainier emergency that may occur. The Puyallup School District has been an active partner in planning and preparing for the evacuation of schools located in the valley in the event a lahar evacuation was necessary.  


What is the district response plan for a volcanic eruption or lahar?  

In conjunction with regional Emergency Management Services, the District will receive immediate notification of volcanic activity at Mt. Rainier. Each school will be contacted so that emergency support and response by students and staff can be initiated. In Puyallup, emergency sirens will sound throughout the community to alert all residents to the hazard. All valley schools will immediately evacuate. It is anticipated that the county will receive advance indications of increased volcanic activity at the mountain and that the valley schools may already be operating in alternative modes prior to any eruption or lahar flow. 
What is the lahar evacuation plan?  

The current plan includes a provision for evacuating students from valley schools via pedestrian routes. The plan was developed in coordination with law enforcement agencies as a part of the larger county emergency response. The county plan includes diverting vehicle traffic and restricting traffic flow to northbound routes and either east- or westbound traffic. These traffic restrictions will prevent the public from driving into the mudflow as well as limiting the district’s ability to provide bus transportation to students in the valley.  

How much time is there to evacuate?  

Experts predict that the valley floor will fill to a depth of thirty feet with mud and debris. It is estimated that there is approximately (after the lahar alert) 60-90 minutes for safe evacuation from the valley.  

Where will students and staff shelter?
Each valley school is assigned to a designated district school or support location for sheltering and managing student-parent relocation. Families should report as soon as practicable to the student-parent reunification location. It is important that families make plans to reunite with their children at the relocation schools, not at their attendance school, so that the schools can evacuate quickly and safely.

Evacuating Site 

Anticipated Reunification Site  

  1. 1. Aylen JH 

Fruitland Elementary-possibly bus from Fruitland to Ballou JH 

  1. 2. ESC/109 

South Hill Support Campus 

  1. 3. Facilities/Transportation 

South Hill Support Campus 

  1. 4. Kalles JH 

Ferrucci JH 

  1. 5. Karshner Elementary 

Fruitland Elementary-possibly bus or send to Woodland Elementary to relieve crowding 

  1. 6. Maplewood Elementary 

Fruitland Elementary 

  1. 7. Meeker Elementary 

South Hill Support Campus 

  1. 8. Puyallup HS 

South Hill Support Campus-possibly bus to RHS to relieve crowding 

  1. 9. Shaw Road Elementary 

Ferrucci JH 

  1. 10. Sparks Stadium 

South Hill Support Campus 

  1. 11. Spinning Elementary 

Wildwood Elementary-possibly bus to Sunrise Elementary to relieve crowding 

  1. 12. Stewart Elementary 

Wildwood Elementary 

  1. 13. Walker HS 

Mt. View Elementary 

Pierce County Emergency Management Lahar Warning Sirens
Pierce County Emergency Management tests its 24 outdoor lahar warning sirens on a monthly basis. Monthly drills take place on the first Mondays of the month, at 12 noon, which will coincide with the monthly testing of the State's tsunami sirens along the coast.

 These drills will check the siren equipment and monitor sound coverage throughout the valley. At the designated time, outdoor warning sirens will wail for approximately one minute. The All Hazards Alert Broadcast sirens are located in Fife, Orting, McMillan, Puyallup, Riverside, Alderton, and Sumner. 
 To coincide with these drills, Emergency Management will test its other new program, Pierce County ALERT. This new system is a mass communication tool that allows the County to contact residents and businesses during emergencies or other significant events. Several days prior to the siren drill, Emergency Management will call residents of the Puyallup Valley to remind them about the test. (Puyallup residents will be notified by their own mass notification system). 
 County residents and businesses can "opt-in" to receive messages from Pierce County Emergency Management online.
Lahar Evacuation Drill Routes
Aylen Junior High
Kalles Junior High
Karshner Elementary
Maplewood Elementary
Meeker Elementary
Puyallup High
Shaw Elementary
Spinning Elementary
Stewart Elementary
Walker High