If you reside in an area that is earthquake prone your individual school
should have a plan in case of a major disaster. This plan generally outlines
evacuation procedures: what to do in case of a major disaster, and what to
do in case someone is injured. It may also include plans for caring for
students immediately after a major disaster. If your area does not
experience earthquakes, your plan may focus on other disasters, such as
volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods.
Review your school disaster plan with your students. If your school
does not have a plan, you as the teacher can decide what your individual
class will do. When you make up a plan, consider the following
- If indoors, watch for falling plaster, bricks, light fixtures, and
other objects. Watch for high bookshelves, and other furniture which
might slide or topple. Stay away from windows and mirrors. If in
danger, get under a table, desk, in a corner away from windows, or
in a supported doorway.
- Do not rush for the exits during a disaster. Try and stay in one
place and protect yourself, unless instructed to move by an adult.
If you must leave the building, choose your exit as carefully as
- If outside, avoid high buildings, walls, power poles, and other
objects which could fall. Do not run through the streets. If
possible, move to an open area away from hazardous objects.
To involve the studentís parents in disaster planning, send a
letter home to encourage them to discuss it with their children.
Enclosed is an example of a letter. Go over the letter with students in
class before they take it home.
If your school does not have a disaster plan, there are many models that
you can follow. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the
U.S. Government has information that you can use. Their website, http://www.fema.gov
, has many excellent links and outstanding information. Your town, city,
or state may also have disaster information.