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Disaster, Emergency, Risk and Crisis Management

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As Hisar School, we regularly update and control our measures and processes for earthquake and emergency preparedness with the determination to create the safest environment for our students in terms of disaster prevention, preparedness and response plans. Risk mitigation is regularly performed by analyzing the risk of possible hazards in our campus, taking necessary preventive measures, and responding urgently to unavoidable situations. Subcontractors providing services to us also act in accordance with this plan. 

Disaster Preparedness Planning

In our country, there are several regulations governing disaster planning activities at schools. As an institution affiliated to the Ministry of National Education, we have approved emergency and civil defence plans in accordance with such legislation, and all risk mitigation measures have been taken beyond those specified in various regulations. Moreover, emergency teams have been formed with staff that possesses the necessary technical and planning competencies and expertise to handle emergencies and various crisis situations:

  • Hisar School employs 1 full-time Occupational Safety Specialist and/or 1 full-time doctor independently of emergencies, and 4 auxiliary healthcare professionals.
  • Hisar Or School Civil Defence Plan for 2019-2023 was approved by the Provincial Directorate of National Education in accordance with the “Regulation on Organizations and Measures for Civil Defence” no. 6/3150.
  • Hisar School Emergency Plan for 2019-2025 defines the duties, authorizations, and responsibilities of emergency crisis management, search-rescue, and evacuation teams. Regular drills are performed by these teams to ensure that the teams gain needed expertise for their duties.
  • Throughout the campus, there is a certified security team trained in accordance with Law no. 5188 and regulation on its implementation.
  • In January 2022, we started to resume our solution partnership with AKUT ASSOCIATION, which we initiated in November 2019 for the purpose of having a specialized agency evaluate our school’s emergency and disaster plans, directives, and processes, but which we had to suspend in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the scope of the project, our Emergency Management Team, consisting of school administrators and administrative staff, successfully completed the trainings that included desk exercises on different scenarios with the experts of the AKUT Association working in our school.
  • “Earthquake Preparations: Checklists for Teachers, Students and Parents”, created in line with these trainings and by referring to many national and international bibliographies, were shared with all Hisar staff and parents in February 2023.

Awareness-Raising, Training and Drills

  • Periodically, AKUT ASSOCIATION trainers hold seminars for our students specific to their age groups.
  • In addition to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and first-aid trainings, AKUT ASSOCIATION awareness-raising seminars are held for our staff regularly.
  • Moreover, search and rescue trainings are given to the Search and Rescue Team of our school by the trainers of the AKUT Foundation, who are experienced in this field and have international certification.
  • Our Psychological Counseling and Guidance (PCG) Department organizes training sessions on psycho-social support, prevention, and crisis response for disasters, emergencies, and their posttraumatic impacts.
  • At Hisar School, earthquake and fire drills are performed regularly in each school year in order to raise our students’ and staff’s awareness of safe living. Possible scenarios are taken into consideration during these drills, which always end in disaster meeting points and is followed by taking attendance. Drill evaluation reports are prepared after the drills, and necessary improvements (if any needed) are made until the next drill.

Structural Risk Mitigation

After the 5.8-magnitude earthquake on 26 September 2019, a soil survey was conducted at Hisar Campus to identify earthquake performances of all buildings as per “2018 Turkish Building Earthquake Regulations (TBDY)”. Drilling and core sampling works were conducted between November 2019-March 2020 with a working team of engineering and geotechnics companies and consultants under the coordination of Istanbul Technical University.

  • Geotechnical reports covering geotechnical analysis of foundation soil as well as settlement, bearing capacity, and sliding calculations of buildings show that there has been no liquefaction in building foundations, and Hisar buildings fulfill TBDY (2018) conditions in terms of existing foundation systems and ground conditions.
  • In the core sampling/post-and-beam stripping works within the scope of structural engineering, it was seen that all buildings except Block A-2 fulfilled the conditions required by TBDY (2018), and had no structural risks in terms of earthquake.
  • On the other hand, considering the possibility of adding a story to Block A-2, the necessity of increasing the capacity bearing column was determined, and it was suggested to reinforce the building against earthquake risk. A static reinforcement project was prepared for Block A-2, where our Primary School and Preschool classes are located, and reinforcement works were completed in summer 2020 under the control of Istanbul Technical University and supervision of an independent building control company.

Mitigation of non-Structural Risks

Reduction of Non-Structural Risks (YOTA) measures were applied on all equipment in our schools; moving cabinets and other furniture within classrooms, as well as libraries and all laboratory and workshop equipment, were fixed. There are stoppers and finger protection on doors, protectors on windows, silicone protectors on the edges of desks and tables, plexy protectors on stairs and handrails, shock-absorber cushions on sharp edges, anti-slip tapes on stairs, and anti-slip surfaces on some floors. Our YOTA practices are regularly reviewed by our OHS Specialist and AKUT Foundation trainers, and regulatory and preventive actions are carried out immediately for revisions deemed necessary.


  • There are emergency guiding boards and signs in all classrooms, offices, corridors, and common areas.
  • In case of internet and electricity outages, wireless communication devices belonging to the school are used.
  • In order to prevent students and personnel from being exposed to undesirable electrical situations in our school, leakage current relays are installed on the floor and main panels.
  • The campus is monitored with a Closed Circuit Camera System (CCTV) 24/7, and all entrances to our school are recorded by the security unit.
  • In summer 2019, electricity infrastructure cables in Block A, Block B, Block C, and Cultural Center were replaced with flameproof (halogen-free) cables. In order to avoid electricity-related problems in possible emergencies, FM200 automatic fire suppression system was installed in the main panels and story distribution panels of Block A, Block B, Block C, Cultural and Sports Center. All electricity cables were replaced with flameproof cabling systems. In order to avoid electricity-related problems in a possible emergency, main electricity cables and indoor electricity/data cables were replaced with halogen-free cables. In order to avoid problems in possible emergencies, it was ensured that the electrical system would be shut off with an emergency button.
  • The main natural gas distribution system has an automatic shut-off system for emergencies. At Hisar School, Early Warning System that prevents “secondary disasters” by shutting off natural gas, electricity, water, etc. during an earthquake was integrated with the existing systems.
  • An explosion protection document was prepared for the boiler rooms of Blok A and Cultural Center. Calculations were made as per ATEX directives, and boiler rooms were divided into zones accordingly. Electricity installations of boiler rooms were replaced with flameproof cables. An exproof gas detection system was installed on each boiler. Waterproof lighting fixtures were selected. It was ensured that the system would be shut off automatically in case of possible gas leakages. The boiler room has an ex-proof gas detection system against gas leakages that may occur in earthquakes or similar emergencies. In order to avoid systemic problems in case of possible gas leakages, all components in the boiler room are shut off and gas flow is terminated. Electricity connection to the boilers is also cut off.
  • In all buildings, there are fire hydrophytes with a spare jockey pump against electricity-related emergencies. In order to ensure that fire hydrophytes are not affected by electricity-related fires and can continue to operate in possible emergencies, they have electricity connections both to the generator and external main supply. There are fire alarms in all buildings and fire extinguishing systems in necessary places. In public areas outdoors, we have fire hydrant valves and spare fire hoses to be needed for these valves in case of a possible fire.
  • Preventive and alarm systems to avoid secondary risks are under regular control of an expert company accredited by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
  • Fire training module is also included in the search and rescue training for the staff who are going to use the relevant equipment.
  • For use in possible fire emergencies, there are fire cabinets in Block A, Block B, Block C, and Cultural and Sports Center (21, 8, 10, and 25 cabinets respectively, with at least two on each story), and 159 fire extinguishers throughout the school. 8 fire extinguishing cabinets were placed next to existing fire hydrants for effective emergency response until the fire brigade arrives.

Emergency Assembly Areas

There are assembly areas at 6 different points within the campus, including Preschool, Primary School, Middle School, and High School sections. There are emergency cabinets in each gathering area. There are attendance lists, megaphone, water, spare clothes for students, hand disinfectant, and masks in the emergency cabinets.

Emergency Warehouses and Logistics

Considering the worst-case scenario that the students and staff be forced to stay at the school for a long time, we have an emergency warehouse with necessary stocks of essential materials and equipment to be needed in all types of disasters and emergencies. Our Emergency Warehouse contains accommodation, protection, medical, and food supplies required by the General Directorate of Civil Defence and AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency), and they are kept up to date with routine controls. A fully equipped infirmary has been established outside the school buildings for the health services that may be needed after a possible disaster, and regular controls are carried out. Necessary closed areas and materials have been created for the accommodation and food that our students will need until their parents arrive. You can access the information about the material inventories to provide first interventions in case of emergencies and to meet the basic needs of our students and staff on our campus for 72 hours, via the document in the link.

Health Activities

We have a full-time doctor and four nurses working in our school’s health unit. and one nurse is in charge of evening and weekend activities. Healthcare professionals renewed their “First and Emergency Response in Disaster Training”, regularly held every year, on November 2022. In order to support this unit, the “Health Support Group”, consisting of our employees, our guidance teachers and students with first aid certificates, assigned by the school administration, regularly conducts organization and operation planning exercises. A disaster warehouse inventory was created within the scope of health studies. In addition to the areas arranged to be suitable for disaster infirmary, emergency patient response, short-term patient care and follow-up; equipment, medicine and material stocks suitable for 72-hour outpatient care were provided. You can review the work of our health unit and the policy of actions to be followed through the document in the link.

Communication Activities

Communication is an important part of disaster management. At this point, detailed communication plans have been prepared in order to ensure open, effective internal and external communication between the staff, students, parents, response teams, the public and the media in our School, which can be managed under the coordination of the Emergency Management (ADY). Within the scope of these plans, tools that can be used for internal and external communication such as communication via satellite, emergency alarm system and intercom have been predetermined and procured. You can review the internal and external communication plans prepared in our school for the pre- and post-earthquake on the document in the link.

Evacuation Plan

In addition to these measures and processes, if an emergency or disaster occurs during education and training hours at our school, it will be ensured that the students wait safely in our gathering areas as soon as they are evacuated from the buildings until they leave the school.

  • If an earthquake shaking is felt, the following emergency steps are followed:
    • “Drop-cover-hold on” is done in classrooms and school areas during the earthquake.
    • As soon as the shaking subsides, evacuation starts immediately. In earthquakes with low shaking intensity (magnitude, evacuation is initiated with an announcement if deemed necessary.
    • Leaving their belongings in the class-rooms, students are evacuated from the buildings in an orderly and quiet fashion under the leadership of their teachers.
    • Each school meets in the assembly area designated for them, verifies attendance and is guided to the tent hall by emergency teams, when it is necessary depending on the magnitude and duration of the earthquake.
    • As students wait in the assembly areas for a certain time period depending on the severity of the earthquake, damage assessment is carried out by the emergency teams in the closed areas of the school to determine whether it is safe to enter the buildings.
    • If there are no risks, students and staff are guided to buildings in order.
  • Due to emergency and disaster conditions or in case of an earthquake with a large environmental impact (severity) affecting the whole of Istanbul, our students and school staff will not be allowed to enter the school buildings and closed areas until it is determined that the buildings are safe by experts and authorized persons.
  • For outpatient treatment or observation needs that may arise during these times, our school’s infirmary and medical team take necessary precautions outside school buildings. According to the plans, SOS Ambulance Service can be utilized for hospital referral needs.
  • The safest time for our students to leave the school will be determined by the school management depending on the emergency and disaster conditions, and in line with the necessary information that will be received from official authorities. In case of an earthquake that affects the whole of Istanbul and has a large environmental impact intensity, our students will stay at school until a parent arrives. “Our students will not be handed over to anyone other than the registered parents in our school”.
  • In case the disaster occurs shortly after the shuttle buses leave;
    • If the bus is close to the school, it returns to the school
    • If the bus is not close by, it reaches the gathering area on its route as determined by the officials and parks in a safe place.
  • Protective materials, first aid kits, water, juice, and cake in adequate amounts for all students are kept available in vehicles.
  • The vehicles have GPS Vehicle Tracking System (Satellite) and Parent Tracking System (Internet), and continuous and regular communication is established unless satellite, phone, or internet connections are cut off.
  • The communication with the vehicles will not be interrupted and parents will be continuously informed until students arrive home safely.

    Student Delivery Process:
    The delivery process of our students to our parents after a possible earthquake is summarized in this document.

Expectations From Parents

As you know, emergency and disaster preparedness is only possible with the collective effort of all parties involved in the process. We kindly ask you to pay utmost attention to the following issues and to provide your cooperation and support so that in case of an emergency or disaster during the school time we can manage the process in the most efficient manner:

  • After an emergency and disaster, our students will leave the school according to the information in HisarNet Emergency and Disaster Information section. Therefore, our students’ personal information in HisarNet Emergency and Disaster Information section is of great importance. It is essential that this information is completed precisely and updated regularly by parents.
  • Hisar School Emergency and Disaster ID Cards containing the information from the HisarNet Emergency and Disaster Information section are prepared for students whose parents find it appropriate. Parents should go through this section and inform us about their preference in this issue. Cards will be distributed to students, whose parents consent to the preparation of these cards, on dates specified by the school at the beginning of the school year. The cards should be kept in our students’ bags throughout the academic year, only to be used during emergencies.
  • Considering serious failures might occur in national communication networks during and after the emergency and disaster, you should show utmost care not to keep school phones occupied except in special situations.
  • With the awareness of the high possibility that the communication may cut off during emergencies and disasters, parents are expected to keep calm and follow the information that the school will communicate through e-mail, SMS, and similar channels, instead of coming to the school in a panic. The school will contact all parents as soon as the communication channels are open.
  • Parents arriving at the school should wait outside the campus to ensure the effective implementation of the emergency plan. The parents are kindly requested to avoid persistent behaviors against the staff.
  • The safest time for our students to leave the school will be determined by the school management depending on the emergency and disaster conditions, and in line with the necessary information that will be received from official authorities.
  • Our school has 6 exit doors. As the exit door to be used may change according to the conditions of emergency and disaster, information about the door to be used by each classroom will be given to the parents together with the time of exit.
  • Thanks to regular drills and briefings in courses, our students are informed and aware of disasters. However, it is also critical and necessary that parents provide their children with information on emergencies and disasters, waiting at the school and leaving the school, persons to pick up the student from school, and the importance of carrying their emergency and disaster ID cards.

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Disaster and Emergency Preparations: Trainings and Projects Completed in 2022-2023 Academic Year

As Hisar School, we continue to develop our equipment, training and experience in emergency and disaster preparedness regularly and in line with the needs every academic year. You can find detailed information about the various studies and trainings carried out at our School in the past months.

  • First Aid Update and Automatic External Defibrillator (OED) Trainings:
    28 of our school administrators and teachers attended and completed the First Aid Update and Automatic External Defibrillator (OED) trainings organized by the Ministry of Health on September 28, 2022. After the OED training, all of our employees were successful in the applied OED exam organized by the Ministry of Health and were entitled to receive their certificates.
  • First Responder Training:
    AKUT Foundation provided 40 hours of First Response Training to our Search, Rescue and Fire Fighting Team, consisting of 22 personnel of our technical and administrative departments on 31 August-4 September 2022. The training covered technical information on how and correctly the first response to the sick and injured people is applied in possible earthquakes and emergencies. All of our employees who participated in the training were successful in the exam.
  • Response Area Training:
    Our school doctor and nurses have successfully completed the Intervention Zone Training given by AKUT Foundation on January 15, 2022.
  • Earthquake Drill:
    On October 7, 2022, at 09:50, an earthquake drill was held in all our schools. Our students successfully evacuated the buildings in an average of 2:30 minutes.
  • AKUT Emergency Management Team Training
    All school administrators and our administrative staff in this team participated in the Emergency Management Team Training held at our School on February 2-3, 2023 by the AKUT Foundation and successfully completed the exercises with the Akut Foundation personnel.