Emergency Evacuation Information
What are School Bus Evacuations?
During School Bus Evacuation Drills, students learn what to do in the event of an emergency and they must evacuate the school bus by way of Front Entrance Door, Side Emergency Windows/Doors, Rear Emergency Door/Window, Roof Hatches, and Front Windshield.
Students are shown how to use the two-way radio, emergency flashers, overhead flashers as well as stop arm. They are shown how to open the Front Entrance Door with a power switch as well as manually. They learn what to do should their driver become incapacitated, including slowing and stopping the bus by way of a service brake or the Emergency Brake. Students are shown how to place the bus into neutral and set the parking brake.
Are School Bus Evacuation Drills Mandatory?
Yes. The following is the State Requirement.
At least twice during every school year, a school shall conduct an evacuation drill of a school bus at school that includes every passenger who rides a school bus and is in school on the day of the evacuation drill. At least 14 days before an evacuation drill, a school shall submit to the Department a written notice stating the date, time, and location of the evacuation drill. Each school bus driver shall participate in a minimum of two evacuation drills during every school year. Evacuation drills shall include:
- Practice and instruction in the location, use, and operation of the emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid equipment, windows as a means of escape, and communication systems;
- Practice and instruction in when and how to approach, load, unload, and move away from the school bus a minimum of 100 feet;
- Instructions on how weather-related hazards affect emergency procedures; and
- Instructions on the importance of orderly conduct.
Should my students do anything to prepare for the drills?
Yes. We ask that women not wear short skirts, and we ask that, for their safety, both men and women not wear sandals or flip-flops. Of couse, bring a positive attitude!
Are evacuation drills different between Regular Buses and Special Needs Buses?
In some ways, yes. The difference is, on Special Needs Buses, the driver and assistant practice un-securing a tied down wheel chair quickly as well as practice using the wheelchair lift manually. They also acquaint themselves with their specific students and what their special needs are. This way, they will know which students will need additional help during a real evacuation.