Day 27 (of 183) reflection on #shakeoutbc & “being prepared”
Yearly in BC we undertake earthquake drills. Even though I’ve spent most of my time living in ‘unlikely’ quake areas, I have spent a couple seconds (that felt like minutes) feeling the earth move under my feet. I have taken the opportunity to use this time to review with the entirety school the reasons and rationales for the drills that we are required to practice.
Earthquake. I have my learning community understanding that even though “we” aren’t likely to have an earthquake, we live in a province where it is possible….so we want to know what to do. It doesn’t take long but puts us through a quick reminder that sometimes we do need to expect the unexpected.
Fire drills. Periodically throughout the year because even though they don’t happen often….they do happen. I have had a couple friends have to go through real-life evacuations. One fortunately happened after the students had left…but destroyed the insides of the building. Another happened because of a holiday-door-decorating contest…..lights + crepe paper = evacuation in the cold. And a learning opportunity where we discovered that speed isn’t everything it was winter and the kids really should have (as the police chief said) gotten the coats and boots on as they would’ve been out for awhile…. Most recently was a “small fire” that didn’t do much damage….but the smoke certainly did. And a few teachers were suddenly out of years of resources they had acquired. But in all cases, the people were safe.
Lockdown. Sounds worse and scarier than it really is. Lock the doors. Don’t open them for any reason until an all-clear signal is given. Biggest fear involves people coming with weapons. More realistic is an animal (moose was my experience) or a student playing hide and seek. Sometimes a fight in the hall.
I know sometimes it’s a pain to do drills. But,
DO talk about why we do them
DO them in all weather conditions. Snow and rain.
DO talk about what happened during drills. It’s how we found out that some rooms evacuation folders didn’t have pencils.
Do drills not just because we have to do them, but instead use them to look for holes in your plans. Better to realize the importance of having an emergency kit near an exit with blankets and water before you find you really need them.