El Niño Preparations Under Way

Glendale Unified School District has developed and implemented action plans to properly protect the district’s students, staff and facilities in anticipation of the upcoming El Niño. Plans include immediate response with trained personnel to secure school facilities that may be impacted by heavy rain, wind, flooding and mudslides.

Kent Smith, the district’s director of Facilities and Support Operations summarized the preparations.

“All district roofs and gutters have been inspected and cleaned. Trees throughout the district have been inspected and trimmed as needed. Distressed trees have been removed. Schools are being assessed for possible flooding. Storm water run-off systems have been inspected and cleaned,” Smith said. “But beyond that, we have first responder trucks and our emergency response trailer has been updated with supplies.”

The update to the trailer includes a satellite phone that will be able to provide emergency access data and voice communications should the regional cellular network fail. The emergency response trailer has also been equipped with a base station for the district’s emergency radio network.

Emergency response supplies and material have been staged throughout the district, including approximately 400 pre-made sandbags that have been staged at various schools. Plastic sheeting and plywood have been stockpiled and these additional supplies are on hand for delivery where needed.

The district has also reconfirmed emergency contact with the Glendale police and fire departments, utility service providers and Los Angeles County agencies. Glendale Unified has taken the lead to create a collaborative group with other school organizations including South Pasadena USD, Pasadena USD, La Cañada Flintridge USD, Burbank USD, Glendale City College, and Pasadena City College. This group will met throughout the El Niño season to discuss mutual planning and response, possible joint-aide, and other topical issues.