Major earthquakes may happen at any time, nearly anywhere in California. Help us keep our students and community prepared and safe by encouraging participation in this year’s Great California ShakeOut statewide annual earthquake drill. At 10:16 a.m. on October 16, 2014, millions of Californians will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” along with millions of others in many other states and countries….There were instructions. Before the drill, we’re supposed to read stuff about how Cal is earthquake country, etc. Then we’re supposed to explain to students what they can do when an earthquake hits: drop to the floor, that sort of thing.
“When the drill begins,” we’re told, “loudly instruct your students to
• Drop to the ground now, before the ground jerks strongly and throws you down.OK. Then it says:
• Take Cover under something sturdy to protect yourself from objects being hurled across the room. Or stay low and protect yourself from flying objects with your hands and arms.
• Hold On to your shelter or hold your position until the shaking stops.
Once the telephonic narration is over, all buildings will be evacuated….
So, just after 10, the buzzer (loud!) went off. Students looked amazed and bewildered. I told ‘em to drop to the floor and hang onto something. They resisted. I had to insist. They kept giving me this look: “Really? You’re not kidding?”
Nope, not kidding. Over the din, I explained that the exercise is a good thing. Everybody should be prepared for the Big One, which is bound to come.
The kids complied. I was impressed. I told 'em they look good down there.
I told ‘em about how stuff would fly around in a real big quake. You don’t wanna be hit by that clock over there and the glass over here, I said.
Meanwhile, that buzzer sounded.
BUT HERE'S THE THING: the “telephonic narration” never came. I kept waiting for it. Nope. Nothin'.
After a bit, the students started to look at me for direction. “Now what?”
I said, “We’re supposed to get directions over the phone. Doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.”
I’ve been through this before. During the last ShakeOut (I’m in room A202), the phone refused to utter a sound, though we were told it would, and so, afterward, I complained.
Wasn’t fixed, I guess.
So, again, over the din, I explained that the Big One is REAL and it is important to stop and think about it before it happens, get prepared for it. Get a kit for your car. Coordinate with friends and loved ones pre-earthquake. Etc.
I was pretty compelling, I think. I meant everything I said, and students saw that.
But that telephonic narration never came.
Have a nice day.