Day 32 (of 189) the disaster artist: safety week = fire drills #shakeoutbc & lockdowns (oh my!)
Why fire drills. The sound is awful. The anxiety spikes for some just thinking about it. So we do them in good weather and focus on speed.
However, many evacuations do not happen in good weather, and I have a key learning from a friend whose school evacuated very quickly….into the cold. And couldn’t go back in the school.
Speed is good – prepared for the laments is better.
So even though it is rainy, we did a fire drill. Admittedly as it is practice, we are blending it with getting outside for recess (getting two birds with one stone metaphor – just make sure it’s a big stone!)
We are also trying a modification – last year teachers would hold a card up to indicate their attendance was done. This year we will be having an attendance sheet sent to our secretary with a “current absence” list so we can do a better job tracking where kids may be…it’s a work in progress but I’m confident we can be quick enough to safely get out and then safe enough to quickly check where all learners are.
This leads in to our annual earthquake drill – coordinated via http://www.shakeoutbc.ca – because we live very close to a fault line that is “overdue” for some shaking. Even when I wasn’t on the coast, I would point out how frequently we visit those areas that are in earthquake zones. I have felt a couple – nothing major, but even a little jolt can get your attention! So we practice:
Drop: to the ground (because it can be hard to stand tall)
Cover: under a steady piece of furniture (not a doorway) where you can protect your head and shoulders
Hold On: until the shaking stops…. and even then count to 60 before moving
And then like that fire drill, exit the building and get to our gathering place so we can connect families.
Also a good time to consider what should be in a “go bag” for big emergencies
- non perishable foods for 3-7 days
- Water: 4 litres per person per day
- Phone charger
- Battery powered radio
- First aid kit
- Garbage bags
- Extra clothes/blankets
There is more, but it’s a good start.
And to wind up our week we will be doing a “3 Bell/lockdown drill” – because when the bear used our crosswalk, we needed everyone inside fast. And doors closed so that everyone is in a “hold and secure” position until a message is broadcast on our PA. And even if the fire alarm goes, the 3 bell “stay inside” rule is in effect until the authorities arrive. We know that schools and society have never been safer (despite how it can feel watching the news that makes every story feel “local”) but we know that bad things happen. So we need to be ready for what might happen…even if it won’t.
Scary? Yep. But we practice not to be perfect but to have an awareness. Really we won’t know how we will react to an emergency situation until it actually happens. But if we can do some conditioning to know what those annoying bells mean and how to keep ourselves safe and secure…that’s a good start.
Oh and even though we spent time making sure we were going to be okay with the weather, we still evacuated in around 5 minutes. I assume some cheated a bit and had some outdoor gear already on – but that’s okay – we can always grab and go and our things on when outside. It’s not that much longer to be sure we are not at risk for damage by the elements and moving from one bad scenario to another!
Be prepared. Be safe!