Previous | Contents | Next

SECTION 6
DRILLS

OBJECTIVES

To train students and teachers and to test the various elements of your response plan in order to evaluate and revise it.

During a damaging earthquake, lifeprotecting actions must be taken immediately. There will not be time to decide what to do next; everyone must already know how to react appropriately. After an earthquake, further lifeprotecting actions such as emergency evacuation or first aid administration may be necessary; welltrained staff and students will guarantee that these crucial steps are taken as quickly as possible.

Earthquake drills and exercises are an extremely important part of your preparedness plan because they 1) teach students, staff and parents how to respond to the complications of an actual earthquake, and 2) help you evaluate how well all parts of your emergency plan work together, and how well your staff and students have been trained.

"I think drills are one of the most important parts of an earthquake plan. They allow you to see how well things operate and to correct any problems. When an earthquake happens it is too late to discover that parts of your plan may not work."

Ron Staley
Earthquake Preparedness Program Coordinator
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Watsonville, CA

KEEP IN MIND

* duck, cover and hold protect head and body if no cover available

* deal with resultant hazards (fire, injuries)

* evacuate the building.

ACTIVITIES

  1. Teachers -- Plan and carry out drills in your own classroom. Those presented in Duck and Cover Scenario and Suggested Activities and Drills are good examples of the kinds of activities that are helpful.
  2. Administrators -- Use the suggestions in Drill Preparations and Checklist for Developing an Evacuation Plan to determine what steps need to be taken and in what order.
  3. Following the suggestions in Drill Preparations, develop a scenario that will test the various parts of your response plan. Utilize aspects presented in the attached Duck and Cover Scenario, Suggested Activities and Drills, and the Evacuation Checklist.
  4. Test the total emergency response plan as a "walk through" exercise, with each team discussing its individual responsibilities. Use the Team Tasks Checklist for Drill Evaluation to assess the drill and adjust it.
  5. Test your plan in a total simulation drill using the scenario you have developed. Request evaluation assistance from your local fire department, Office of Emergency Services, or school district office.

"We had many parents tell us afterwards (after October 17, 1989), that their children were telling them what to do--get under a table, duck and cover, stay down. The children were actually able to reassure the parents because they had been trained. In fact the children had been trained well enough that they knew it was important to turn off the gas, water and electricity, and they were telling their parents to do so."

Ron Staley
Earthquake Preparedness Program Coordinator
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Watsonville, CA

 

Previous | Contents | Next


School Earthquake Preparedness Guide - State of Arkansas
Arkansas Office of Emergency Services, 1993