Earthquakes shake stability

February 1, 2010

Anterpreet Kaur

The year started with earthquakes across the globe, in Haiti and Guatemala, and more local ones in Fremont. After the extreme devastation in Haiti and Guatemala, the state of our community’s preparation comes into question.

The school procedures in case of an earthquake include the “duck and cover” drill and evacuating to Tak Fudenna Stadium. Yet, our commitment to safety might have more to do with abiding by the rules rather than the procedures themselves.

“We have good procedures set up, but they aren’t followed,” junior Erin Riegelsberger said.

For instance, during the third period earthquake that occurred in her class, students were more concerned with their test grades than the “duck and cover” procedure.

“Even if the earthquake was brief, it is still necessary to get in the habit of practicing the procedures,” Erin said.

Because of the recent earthquakes, some students now believe that certain classrooms not only lack procedures but also adequate equipment.

“In the ceramic room, the intercom doesn’t function properly. Also, the students don’t even bother following the ‘duck and cover’ drill because other than the teacher’s desk, all tables have lockers under them.” senior Shayna Finley said.

She also believes that to be prepared for a big earthquake, students must practice drills at smaller ones.

“We should be really concerned since we are very close to the Hayward San Andrea’s fault line,” Finley said.

Yet, certain classrooms are more than enough prepared. Art teacher Robin Downey believes that her classroom is adequately prepared and equipped.

“The procedures are set in place, the drills are effective, and the students know what to do. Personally, the sturdy marble tables in my room are very protective and make me feel satisfied,” said Ms. Downey.

She does believe there can be some improvements made to the practice procedure.

“If we have drills more often, say once a month, the ducking and covering under the desk will run more smoothly and there will be less panic. Not to mention that the more the students practice the drills, the better prepared they will be,” said Downey.

Senior Shayna Finley, on the other hand, believes that the intercoms need to be fixed in the ceramic rooms.

“If the intercoms are fixed, at least my class will know when to evacuate to Tak,” Finley said.

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