Plate Tectonic - Hazards (2)
Post Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Reviewing earthquake safety at school.
  • Analyzing earthquake safety at home.
VOCABULARY:
  • disaster
  • evacuation
  • hazard
  • safety
MATERIALS:
  • letter sent home to parents

Students plan for disasters at home and at school.


Collapsed freeway, Oakland, CA 1989

BACKGROUND:

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.

PROCEDURE:

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 guidelines: 

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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 possible.
     
  3. 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.

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