Emergency Procedures


Please find our earthquake and evacuation procedures and information for parents outlined below:

  • In the event of an earthquake requiring a ‘drop, cover, hold’ reaction, students will be evacuated outside when it is assessed as safe to do so.

  • Standard school evacuation procedures will be followed to ensure all students gather outside and are all accounted for safely and quickly. Once all students are accounted for, the whole school will gather and remain (if possible) in our central evacuation location (on school netball courts).

  • Once we are sure all students are accounted for, our school office will send out a bulk text to all families to inform you of the evacuation and that all students are safe. This process may take some time, especially if groups of students are off-site, as we will need to confirm the situation of all students before communicating with families.

  • In the case of an emergency, parents must not phone the school or staff, because this will only hold up the process of accounting for all children. See "Communication" section below.

  • In the bulk text message, parents and caregivers will be asked to pick up students from school, where possible. Any students not able to be picked up will be kept with teachers at school until picked up.

  • Parents or emergency contacts arriving at school to pick up students will be directed by designated teachers to a parent meeting point (generally by the scooter racks). One teacher will briefly explain what is happening whilst another teacher collects your child. Parents must not collect their children themselves, as each child will need to be signed out by the whānau teacher. Once this is done, students will then be brought to you.

  • We can only release children to their parents or designated emergency contacts, even if the people attempting to pick them up are known to the children. If you need to change your designated emergency contacts, at any time, please contact the office on (04)477 3423 or office@amesbury.school.nz. If, on the day, your child needs to be released to someone else, please text a message. See "Communication" section below.

  • If the event has caused disruption (such as the city centre being closed down or major traffic disruptions), or there are ongoing aftershocks, we will require all students to be picked up by a parent or designated emergency contact, to ensure that students will be safe and supervised when they get home. Older students who live very close to school and normally walk home alone will, nonetheless, still need to be picked up from school. However, if you would still like your child to walk home please text your child’s hub teachers once you have been informed of an evacuation and let them know that your child/ren can walk home. If, given the information we have, we still do not believe it is safe or advisable for your child to walk home, we will continue to hold your child. Please note: we will be taking a “better safe than sorry” approach. There may be occasions when we require children to stay at school and it turns out it was not really necessary. We will make the best judgement call we can based on whatever information we have.


  • In an emergency evacuation, parents or caregivers must not ring the school office or staff, as this can severely congest our school lines and impact our ability to contact emergency services should it be necessary. It can also compromise the safety of children by distracting staff who are carrying out essential emergency procedures. The first priority of staff is to ensure the safety of all students.

  • Please note that in an emergency situation, the leadership and admin team will be extremely busy and will be unable to answer phones calls. If it is urgent and necessary to contact the school during an emergency, please leave a text message via either of the phone numbers below, and staff will endeavour to pick up messages when possible.

           Urs Cunningham - 021 480 526

           Office mobile - 021 865 528

  • Please be aware that in the event of an earthquake, communications can be disrupted. If you do not hear from us, it may mean that we have been unable to text or email families. In this event we will keep all students safely at school with teachers until they can be picked up. We have supplies of food, water and emergency items to enable us to do this.
  • Communicating with teachers: Please only communicate with teachers using email and only if it is absolutely necessary to do so. We will not respond to communications seeking information about a particular child unless there are medical or other essential reasons to do so. Our focus needs to be on ensuring the safety of all students and sending out bulk communications to families at the appropriate time. Keep emails as brief and concise as possible, making it easier for us to read and digest in an emergency. We will try to acknowledge necessary emails, but replies will likely be extremely brief, due to time constraints.
  • Please be patient: It may take teachers some time to reply to emails, as the main priority of teachers will be to attend to the safety and needs of students.