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ShakeOut tests earthquake preparedness

October 26, 2012
Several PPS schools participated in the Great Oregon Shakeout earthquake preparedness drill Oct. 18 and many more will do lessons on earthquakes or hold drills in coming weeks.
Students and staff at Portland's Roosevelt High School joined thousand of other Oregonians who participated in the Oregon Great Shakeout by practicing their earthquake drill.
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The Great Oregon ShakeOut was a statewide drill to practice preparedness and test emergency response systems. During the drill in participating schools across the state, a signal alerted teachers and students to get under their desks and shield their heads with their arms.

The drill was identical to drills that PPS students routlinely practice.Rieke K-5 and Roosevelt High School are among PPS schools that participated.

PPS acts on multiple levels to insure student safety
PPS schools are required to conduct earthquake drills at least twice every year. In the event of an earthquake, students "shelter in place," meaning they remain at the school with school staff until parents claim them.

PPS is an active partner in emergency preparedness planning with the City of Portland and the State of Oregon to ensure a coordinated and effective response.

PPS used a federal grant to train all schools in emergency preparedness and provide schools with orange supply buckets for classrooms, a flip chart of emergency instructions, and “crisis in a box” kits with everything from attendance rosters to building blueprints.

PPS has also used a federal Readiness Emergency Management for Schools grant to create a school emergency response plan for each school; train teams from each building in emergency response, and work with schools on drills.

Schools receive instruction on emergencies ranging from earthquakes and fires to medical emergencies and bomb threats.

Emergency supplies at every school
In addition, every school has emergency response buckets for classrooms that contain flashlights, batteries, dust masks, whistles, light sticks, gloves, blankets, goggles, high energy food bars, first aid kit, grease pencil, makeshift toilet supplies and more.

Soon schools will also receive "crisis in a box" kits that include the school's attendance roster, parent reunification forms, utility shutoff locations, building blueprints, safety vests, whistles, and more as well as pocket-size flip charts to instruct staff how to handle a range of emergencies.

In January, bright orange buckets filled with emergency supplies were distributed to every Portland Public School Classroom as part of a grant-funded effort to keep students safe.

The Great Oregon Shakeout is an opportunity for families to talk with children about their family's emergency plans in the event of an earthquake.

For tips on preparing for and surviving an earthquake:

In Portland: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/28988
In Oregon: http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/
American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake


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