School Campus Emergency Preparedness: Ensuring Safety and Resilience in the Face of Earthquakes 

 August 8, 2023

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Although people tend to associate earthquakes with California, the fact is, they can and do occur across the United States. No matter where your school is located, it should have an emergency preparedness plan so everyone knows how to handle a seismic event.

Identify Hazards at Your School

When an earthquake occurs, buildings often collapse, killing people or trapping them under debris. To create an earthquake preparedness plan that’s tailored to your school, consider the building’s architectural design and structure to understand how well it would or would not be able to handle the stress of an earthquake. 

The era when the school was constructed is important. Building codes evolve over time. The school may or may not have been built to withstand an earthquake. If it wasn’t, find out if upgrades have been made.

Structural damage isn’t the only possible source of injuries during an earthquake. Overhead lights, furniture, and items that are stored on shelves and in cabinets can come crashing down. 

Walk through your school, room by room, and look for potential hazards. Once you understand the ways that students, teachers, and other employees could get hurt in an earthquake, you can look for ways to reduce or eliminate those risks. For instance, you might need to have workers anchor furniture to walls or install cabinets with locks so objects won’t fall down and cause injuries if the ground begins to tremble.

Create an Emergency Response Plan

Everyone at your school must know what to do if an earthquake happens. Depending on the school’s location and condition, it might make sense to create an evacuation plan, or it might be better to have people shelter in place.

If your plan includes evacuation, consider several escape routes, then walk those routes and look for any potential problems. For instance, a route might be too long, or you might realize that falling objects could block the path, cause injuries, or trap evacuees. Depending on the size of your school and the number of people, you might need to design several evacuation routes.

Share the plan with teachers, staff, and students. Conduct drills regularly so that everyone will know what to do and will be able to stay calm and act quickly if an earthquake occurs.

Stock up on Emergency Supplies

Each classroom and office in your school should have a first aid kit in a place where it’s easily accessible. Emergency food and water should be available in case people have to remain inside the school after an earthquake.

You can purchase first aid kits or cabinets in a range of sizes from 1st Aid Supplies. They contain products that can be used to treat a variety of common injuries. We also sell emergency food and water, flashlights, hand-crank radios, and sanitation supplies. Order school emergency preparedness supplies today.

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