Day 31 (of 2021/22) emergency drills with thanks to @shakeoutbc
Tis the season for reviewing our emergency drills. In BC we are required to do 1 lockdown drill, 1 earthquake drill (tomorrow) and 6 fire drills. I like bundling them into the same week so that we are all thinking about ‘why’ we need to know what to do in an emergency that would cause one of these three to occur. Here is my thinking about them:
– 3 Bells will ring (we are currently not using our bells through the day, so this should be a pretty clear signal that something isn’t right) that means everyone goes right into their classroom (thus the 3 bells in case they are outside…) and locks their doors.
– No Announcement = lockdown: lock doors and remain quiet – everyone stay away from doors and windows
– Announcement may clarify that it is a ‘hold and secure’ which means the outer doors are to remain closed/locked but classrooms can continue as normal. But we should still stay out of the halls as best we can.
– Announcement by Principal/Vice Principal will declare that the lockdown is over.
– If a fire alarm rings during a lockdown, the alarm is to be ignored during this one time only.
Tomorrow (Thursday October 21) is ShakeOutBC Day – when we are highly encouraged to finish off the drills we practice this time of year:
Earthquake Drill: https://www.shakeoutbc.ca/resources/ another announcement = the feel of the earth moving – take cover under tables and away from windows and doorways. Announcement will go over the protocols of what to do… as provided by @shakeoutbc
- Announce that the earthquake drill has begun and instruct staff and students to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” or play the audio recording on your PA or classroom computers.
- Count seconds out loud for the duration of the quake. This will help keep students focused and calm and will allow you to identify how long the earthquake lasts. The longer it lasts, the more cautious everyone will need to be.
- When the shaking stops (or when the all clear sounds) count to 60. Suggest that while under a sturdy desk or table, students and teachers look around at what might fall on them in a real earthquake. These should be secured or moved after the drill.
- NOTE: If an aftershock occurs while exiting, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” until the shaking stops. Crouch rather than dropping to knees to avoid injury from debris.
Then we will ring the fire drill bells (which in theory will go off with a significant quake but even ShakoutBC notes that an evacuation is not automatically necessary) and transition to a fire drill
Fire Drill: line up and head outside your entrance/exit door and make your way to the back field making sure you are as prepared as you can for the weather conditions (eg if it is raining, grab coats as you line up and head outside – but don’t change shoes; if you’re in the gym/library/music portable… too bad… though in a real emergency we have blankets et al available in an outdoor shed). We will then line in columns facing the school. Then do attendance – if everyone you expect to be with you is there, hold up a green card so that Sarah can see your class is ‘good’. If you are missing someone – please send the little note in your emergency attendance kit to our secretary at the stairs so we can determine where they are. When we are “clear” Mr Landy or Mr Hilleren will give an “all clear” shout. If we need to evacuate, we need to head as a group to… unhealthy treat for the first three who know where our evacuation site is <– gotta have a bit of a contest in the week… to then contact families for pickup…
Because even ShakeoutBC recommends trying a family pickup event from time to time:
- Conduct an evacuation of the school according to your emergency plan.
- Add a student release drill – have parents participate.
- Set‐up an Incident Command Post.
Practice for what we hope we never need to do!