School Emergency Procedures

School Emergency Procedures

School Emergency Procedures  

It’s no question that substitute teachers are invaluable. Every day, they enter new schools and new classrooms; they meet new students and deliver new lesson plans; and, undoubtedly, they face new obstacles. To make a challenging role increasingly challenging, these obstacles materialize in a variety of ways. From inclement weather to intruders on campus, substitute teachers must be prepared for any and all emergency situations – no matter their present location.  

While some substitutes remain fixed in a primary school, many float from one location to another. This constant fluctuation of environments can be overwhelming for substitutes as they’re forced to navigate the different procedures and protocols implemented by each school. Our goal here at HelloSubs is to ensure that our subs feel adept and ready to face these emergency scenarios regardless of their current school or location. 

As a substitute teacher, it’s important to recognize that, despite minor nuances, the processes for the following emergency situations are remarkably similar for all schools. To assist our subs, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly performed drills and their subsequent procedures. Additionally, you'll find supplementary articles, videos, and training courses if desired. That being said, if you know your school’s procedures, great! Follow them. If you don’t, fear not. The following guidelines and resources are here to help.  


Notification Type: Drill – PA System; Live – Earthquake Itself  

In the event of an earthquake...   

  1. Stop what you’re doing  
  2. Move away from windows and unstable furniture 
  3. Take cover under a desk/table; hold your cover stable to prevent movement  
  4. Protect your head and neck using your hands and arms  
  5. Do not leave cover until shaking stops  


  1. Article: “Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” 
  2. Course: Earthquake Training (30-45 minutes)  
  3. Video: Earthquake Drill (Classroom) 


Notification Type: Tornado Siren  

In the event of a tornado... 

  1. Most classrooms will indicate where to go in the event of a tornado. If yours does not.. 
    1. Relocate to a lower-level interior room or hallway (if need be)  
  2. Avoid close proximity to glass, windows, doors, and unstable furniture  
  3. Have students crouch next to a wall (if possible), using hands or other object to cover their heads  
    1. Make sure students condense themselves into as small a “target” as possible to avoid flying debris  


  1. Article: “Tornado Safety at School”  
  2. Video: Tornado Drill Procedures 


Notification Type: Fire Alarm  

In the event of a fire... 

  1. Most classrooms will indicate where to go in the event of a fire. If yours does not... 
    1. Find the nearest exit  
    2. Evacuate the building  
  2. Instruct your students to walk, not run, out of the building  
  3. Keep your students in one location in order to perform a head count  
  4. Remain outside until the all-clear has been given  


  1. Article: “Standard School Fire Alarm Evacuation Procedures”  
  2. Video: How to Conduct a Fire Drill  


Notification Type: PA System  

In the event of an intruder in the building... 

  1. Students should report to the closet room  
  2. Close and lock all classroom windows and doors  
  3. Barricade the doors using classroom furniture 
  4. Instruct students to move out of view from any windows  
  5. Instruct students to remain silent  
  6. Turn off all the lights  
  7. Do not let anyone into the classroom  
  8. Remain in place until the all-clear has been given  


  1. Article: “Best Practices for Campus and School Lockdown Procedures”  
  2. Article: "Active Shooter Situations” 
  3. Course: Lockdown Training (60 minutes)
  4. Video: Just Another Day: How to Survive an Active Shooter 

    • Related Articles

    • How do I request a job AFTER the school day has started?

      If you'd like to request a job after the school day has started, please take the following steps: Request the job on your HelloSubs platform. If your request IS immediately approved... ...and you will be LESS than 30 minutes late to your assignment, ...
    • Colorado Background Check Procedures

      Colorado Fingerprinting Applicant Registration Instructions The following are step by step instructions to successfully register for fingerprinting. Please carefully read and follow the registration instructions carefully. IMPORTANT - Make sure all ...
    • Complete Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Training for Catholic School Assignments

      Whether you're Catholic or not, substitute teaching at private Catholic schools in your community can be a very rewarding experience. These schools often offer smaller classes, competitive pay, and a respectful student body making the assignments ...
    • HelloSubs Teacher Code of Conduct

      HelloSubs teachers hold the responsibility of representing the HelloSubs organization every time they work an assignment. HelloSubs teachers are expected to adhere to the Values and Expectations of both HelloSubs and our partner schools on a daily ...
    • Policies and Best Practices for Early Childhood Substitute Teachers

      HelloSubs is committed to creating a safe and nurturing environment for all children under our care. All HelloSubs Early Childhood substitutes are expected to learn and adhere to the following policies and best practices to ensure the well-being of ...