DO 96, s. 1990 – Calamity/Emergency Drills in Schools and Offices

August 28, 1990
DO 96, s. 1990
Calamity/Emergency Drills in Schools and Offices

To: Bureau Directors
Directors of Services/Centers and Heads of Units
Regional Directors
Schools Superintendents
Presidents, State Colleges and Universities
Heads of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities
Vocational School Superintendents/Administrators

  1. In order to be prepared when any calamity or emergency occurs such as the very strong earthquake which recently hit the country wherein thousands were either killed or injured, fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, bombings, etc., there is an urgent need to enhance the consciousness of the different sectors in our society specially pupils, teachers, and other school and office personnel on the effects and threats of such calamities.
  2. In line with the above, all schools and offices are enjoined to hold periodic emergency drills for safe and proper evacuation of pupils, students, and office personnel during natural/man-made disasters. Deaths and injuries could be minimized if students, pupils, and even office personnel are drilled on the proper course of action during emergency situations.
  3. The following safety precautions about earthquakes should be discussed in classes or before an earthquake drill is conducted:
    1. Keep calm. Don’t panic. The worst danger is over after the first minute of a major earthquake.
    2. If you are in a building, seek cover near or under a large piece of strong furniture; in a very high floor of a building, go to the rooftop; on a street, watch out for falling debris, billboards, tumbling walls, loosened slabs, and electric wires.
    3. Keep away from narrow alleys between buildings, tall structures or walls as well as from banks and precipices.
    4. After the main earthquake, stay away from unstable objects or structures, like damaged walls and ceilings. Aftershocks could cause them to fall.
    5. At the seashore, guard against tidal waves.
  4. In case of a fire drill, the following instructions should, likewise, be discussed before conducting building evacuation in schools/offices:
    1. There must be an alarm system in the building, such as bells, whistles, gongs, and other sound-producing instruments which can be distinctly heard all over the school premises.
    2. A diagram of each floor of the building should be prepared to show the sequence of emptying various classrooms and offices and taking the stairways in an orderly manner, giving priority to those occupying the upper floors of the building and small children, to prevent them from being trapped.
    3. Information on the location of fire exits, fire ladders, and fire extinguishers in the building should be widely disseminated and the school population and teachers should be familiar with their use.
    4. Teachers should make a careful check of the rooms as soon as they are emptied, and they should call the roll as soon as their pupils are out in the yard, to see that no one is left behind in the building.
    5. Fire drills should be conducted with the help of the local firemen if possible once a month, to familiarize the school population with their corresponding parts in a fire drill and in order to perfect a systematic evacuation of the students/pupils.
    6. Attempt should be made to eliminate defects which might have been noticed in previous drills, with the end in view of insuring smooth and clockwork precision in subsequent fire drills.
    7. As soon as “pre-announced” fire drills are perfected, attempt should be made to conduct totally unannounced or “surprise” drills, to approach as much as possible the actual condition obtaining in case of real fire.
    8. Provision should be made whereby the school/office population can be evacuated to a safer place, distant enough from the “burning building” to insure the safety of each and every school child/office personnel.
    9. Every fire drill should include the review or check up by the employees and faculty of the institution in the use of available fire-fighting equipment, operation of fire exits, fire escapes, and other safety installations, to the end that any small fire originating in the building itself might be controlled before it develops into a conflagration.
  5. As regards volcanic eruptions, the following are some preventive and mitigation measures:
    1. Avoid low places or areas vulnerable to avalanches, rock falls, lava flows, and mudflows;
    2. Refrain from deforesting the slopes of volcanoes to minimize mudflows.
    3. During ash showers, evacuate people with respiratory ailments to places outside the ash shower area so as not to aggravate their condition. Others should cover their noses, preferably with a wet piece of cloth;
    4. In between heavy ash showers, scrape off ash that has accumulated on rooftops to prevent the collapse or destruction of structures due to pressure;
    5. Construct earthquake resistant structures in areas near active volcanoes;
    6. Comply strictly with PHIVOLCS’ prohibition against human settlement in the Permanent Danger Zones or the areas within 4-6 km. radius from the summits of active volcanoes. Also, heed warnings and orders for evacuation issued by PHIVOLCS and the Provincial Disaster Control Commission (PDCC) in times of volcanic unrest; and
    7. Have ready means of transport, if you are living on or around volcanoes.
  6. In cases of bomb threats, the following instructions should be followed:
    1. There must be a tight security for all persons entering the building;
    2. Strict procedure for control and inspection of packages and materials entering critical areas of the building should be established;
    3. Any luggage or items from clientele for safe custody should not be accepted at any time or under any circumstances, to prevent infiltration of the system by apparently innocent means;
    4. There must be a means of identifying and controlling personnel who are authorized access to critical areas of the building;
    5. All security and maintenance personnel should be alert to suspicious-looking or unfamiliar persons or objects;
    6. All security and maintenance personnel should be instructed to make periodic checks of all rest rooms, stairwells, and other areas of the building to assure that unauthorized personnel are not hiding or surveilling the area;
    7. All personnel, especially those at the telephone switchboard should be instructed on what to do if a bomb threat is received, like being trained to respond calmly because a calm response could result in getting additional information;
    8. The police, fire or other local governmental agencies must be contacted to determine whether any has a bomb disposal unit to assist in the physical search of the building, areas where explosives are likely to be concealed, and to remove explosives;
    9. Search Plan: Every establishment must have an efficient plan for searching the building in the event of a bomb threat. No matter from where the threat originates or what type of threat it is, if it requires searching for bomb, the plan must be simple and effective; and
    10. Evacuation Plan: Once it is reasonably certain that a device has been located, it is necessary to evacuate; in which case, an evacuation unit should be established.
  7. In cases of typhoons, attention is invited to DECS Orders Nos. 32 and 61, s. 1990.
  8. Immediate and wide dissemination of this Order is desired.


Department Orders: (Nos. 32 and 61, s. 1990)
BPS Memorandums: Nos. 26, s. 1960 and 22, s. 1970
Department Memorandums: Nos. 236 and 303, s. 1976
Allotment: 1-2-3-4—(M. O. 1-87)

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: