Risk Management |
updated December 11 | As the massive wildfires in southern California continue to burn, hundreds of schools remain closed, including some that had been designated as safe havens for others. Among recent responses, the Thacher School, a boarding school in Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Barbara, evacuated to the Cate School, another independent boarding school closer to the ocean. Within two days, however, Cate School had to evacuate as well. "We are currently displaced as our school (and our neighbors!) are right in the middle of one of the mandatory evacuation zones," said Sandi Pearce, Cate's assistant head of finace and operations (and a member of the NBOA Board of Directors), in an email on Saturday.
Earlier last week, we spoke with David Marcus, campus business manager at de Toledo High School in Los Angeles. "With five major fires, close to 100,000 acres burning, and only 5 percent containment, we and everyone else including parents and employees are affected by it," he said. "UCLA is closed, people are walking around with face masks — it's kind of surreal." The Skirball fire shut down part of the 405 freeway, a major artery in the city, and consequently many independent schools around it have evacuated. Fueled by high winds and dry conditions, several major blazes are still far from contained.
Collaborative efforts among independent schools in the area include convening via webinar to discuss which institutions are in need of assistance and which can help, according to Marcus. The schools met in similar fashion in October to assist northern California schools following widespread fires in that region and then realized they needed to pool resources closer to home. "What happens if everything is burning?" asked Marcus. #Facilities#CrisisManagement
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