Sixth grade students at Eastridge practice their "Duck, Cover, Hold."
Photo by Wendy Walsh/Woodinville Weekly.
Earthquakes happen, and Eastridge Elementary is getting prepared. April 4th was declared "Earthquake Preparedness Day" throughout the state.
At Eastridge, routine classes were interrupted at 9:56 a.m. when an earthquake drill was announced over the loudspeaker and instructions were given to "Duck, Cover and Hold." Students in Bob Farnus' sixth grade class were well-prepared, and they immediately crawled completely under their desks and awaited instructions to evacuate.
Bob Farnus serves on the Northshore School District Emergency Steering Committee and is the school coordinator for emergency preparedness. His students followed instructions to evacuate "quietly, not a word," and joined the rest of the school in a silent procession to the playing fields north of the school buildings. In approximately 5 minutes, the entire school had been evacuated and the school staff were at their appointed stations.
The school courtyard had been prepared with area signs designating search and rescue, safety, and security. The command Post was manned by Sylvia Lesser, the principal. Her back-up incident commander was Janet Shannon, language arts teacher. The two communicated with walkie-talkies. Mock injuries were reported, and teams were sent to handle simulated incidents.
This drill is a preliminary practice for a more intensive districtwide earthquake drill April 30th, when a real earthquake practice will cover more concrete logistical exercises, including students simulating real injuries. Selected parents will be called to evacuate their children during that exercise.