Preparing for emergencies, traumatic incidents, evacuations and lockdowns

Your school or early learning service may face a natural disaster, pandemic, criminal acts or student suicide. An emergency event may require an evacuation or a lockdown. It’s important to be prepared for these events.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Administrators
  • General Public

Emergency planning

This guidance supports schools and early learning services to comply with health and safety regulations. Emergency plans are mandatory for all schools and early learning services. 

The emergency management template can be edited to help you create your own emergency plan.

The emergency planning guide provides practical guidance and information to help schools and early learning services prepare for emergencies, evacuation, shelter in place, and lockdown situations in their unique contexts.

This quick checklist may help you when reviewing your emergency management plan and preparations.

Emergency planning checklist

You can use this template to summarise the key emergency management information parents and caregivers should know about your school or early learning service.

This guide focuses on the recovery of people and what needs to be considered to establish systems and clear procedures to best support the community in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Mataara emergency contact tool

In an emergency we want to connect with you as quickly and simply as possible, and we especially want to know if you need our help. We use the Mataara emergency contact tool to do this.

Learn more about Mataara:

Mataara emergency contact tool

Pandemic plans

Find out how to prepare and implement a pandemic plan.

Communicable diseases: A guide to legal powers

Planning for an epidemic or pandemic event

Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention – Mental Health Foundation(external link)

Contacting the Police

Being well prepared before an event occurs will enable the NZ Police | Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa to provide your school with faster and more effective support. 

Know who to phone 

NZ Police have provided this useful poster that can be printed and displayed in early learning services and schools. It tells you which number is the best one to call when you need police assistance.

Share your site plan

Police use a tool called Realtime Intelligence for Operational Deployment (RIOD). In an unfolding event, it is used to ensure they can respond as efficiently and comprehensively as possible.

You can choose to share your school or early learning service's site plan and contacts with Police to help their response to your school if it is needed. Plans will be saved securely and geotagged in the RIOD tool.

You can also choose to share with Police your:

  • shelter-in-place or lockdown procedures
  • emergency management plan.

Email plans to:

For more information, contact your local school community officer at

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