Firefighters visit the school last year for “The Great American Shakeout.” (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)
Last year, Waimea Middle School was the only organization in Hawaii to participate in “The Great American Shakeout” – a national earthquake preparedness drill that involved millions of participants and hundreds of schools and other organizations across the country.
According to school administration, the event was meaningful learning experience last year for students, faculty and families. This year, WMS will again participate in the drill at 10:17 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, along with what is expected to be more than 16 million other participants nationally.
Already, more than 13,000 groups statewide and about 5,000 on Hawaii Island have signed up to participate in the preparedness drill.
The drill practices what to do in the event of an earthquake. At 10:17 a.m., students and faculty will pretend an earthquake is happening and practice getting into a safe position to ride out the event. As prescribed by approved earthquake safety protocols, students are instructed to, “drop, cover and hold on.” No one should run outside or move under a door jam but instead, drop to the floor before being thrown off balance, get under a sturdy table or desk, and if you can’t do that, get down next to a wall without things above you to fall on you. In addition to finding a table for cover, individuals are instructed to put a hand over their head and neck as protection from falling debris and, if possible, hold onto the table to keep it over you to protect you – don’t let it shake away. For more information, visit shakeout.org/Hawaii.