“Be Prepared” – In The School

Is today the day an earthquake will occur while you or your kids are at school? All of us need to “Be Prepared”, at home, at school, in the workplace, while shopping, in houses of worship, or just taking a walk in the park.

Being prepared extends to the school your kids attend, or the school you attend.  Being familiar with the plan on the shelf at the school is important. Just as in the home, first responders (Fire, Law Enforcement, Medical Services, Public Works) may not be able to respond.  Knowing what your schools are doing will help ensure that you, and your family, will be prepared.

According to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, “School buildings are, unfortunately, often damaged or collapse in earthquakes.” The reasons for this are many, but knowing what your school, or your kids school, is doing to mitigate any potential risk, how they will respond and how they will communicate are important.  While most K12 schools are required to practice earthquake preparedness, this generally comes down to “Drop, Cover and Hold.”  As parents, and as students, in addition to “Drop, Cover and Hold” exercises, three actions should be taken – Research, Evaluate, and Participate:

  • Research (Plans, Procedures, Structures)
    • Does the schools emergency plan specifically address earthquakes?
    • Have first responders trained in the schools for earthquakes?
    • What is the communication plan following an earthquake?
  • Evaluate (The building, district and staff)
    • Are the buildings up to earthquake code?
    • Is there a multi-day supply of emergency supplies?
    • Have school staff been trained for emergency response to earthquakes?
  • Participate (Reach out and find what your neighbors are doing)
    • Work with the school to update the plan.
    • Volunteer to be a role player in school emergency exercises.
    • Educate your kids, other students and yourself on earthquakes.

Being prepared for an earthquake is the responsibility of each one of us – you are critical to community resilience!

Join us as we continue the “Be Prepared” theme:

  • January 26th “Be Prepared” In The Workplace
  • January 27th “Be Prepared” A Compendium Of Available Resources.

Thursday January 26th, 2017 is the 317th anniversary of the last Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake.  In recognition of this, and to increase earthquake awareness, City of Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville has proclaimed January 26th as “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Awareness Day

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