Around the world millions of people practiced how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill of 2016. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) has participated in the Great ShakeOut since 2012, according to Pegge Erkeneff, communications liaison at KPBSD. The ShakeOut began in Southern California in 2008 as a drill designed to educate the public about how to protect themselves during a large earthquake, and how to get prepared. KPBSD students and staff joined more than 120,000 Alaskans for this year’s drill. Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support, said in a news release, “We need to be prepared for incidents we hope never happen, but if they do, we can minimize the danger to our students, staff, and community.”
At Redoubt Elementary, Lynne Dawson’s kindergarten class was prepared and carried out the drill perfectly. “Drop, Cover and Hold on is a drill that our kids have been through multiple years. Going through the process whether they are in school, at the movie theatre or at home gives them a basis of how be safe and protect themselves. Last year we did have an earthquake and kids did know what to do and told us about it,” said Redoubt principal Bill Withrow in an interview following the drill. “The staff is also well trained and participates just as if it were an actual quake, this year we had a couple of parents stop by the school during the drill itself and they also assimilated the drop, cover and hold on procedure. It’s a valuable technique for safety education for our students and employees. We also practiced in a radio check-in to the district office from each of our schools following the earthquake drill,” he said. The overall Great ShakeOut took less than two minutes.
Participating is a great way for families, businesses or organizations to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel.