Schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) participated in the Great Alaska ShakeOut last week that commenced at 10:17am Thursday, October 17th across the Greatland when tens of thousands of Alaskans participated in an earthquake preparedness drill known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” According to the KPBSD all schools registered joining nearly 50,000 other Alaskans statewide who registered to participate for the drill. Redoubt Elementary principal John Pothast, “We live in an earthquake prone part of the country and the whole idea like practicing fire drills and other procedures to make sure our kids are safe is to on a statewide effort to bring attention to what to do when an earthquake occurs to minimize the danger to our students, staff and community,” he said.
According to Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support, “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. Earthquake preparation and the proper ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold On’ technique is valuable safety education for our students and employees. We also practiced a radio check-in to the district office from each of our schools following the earthquake drill.” The fact that earthquakes can occur at anytime without warning emphasizes the need for training says Pothast, “So one of the things we that we always teach everyone is that when it starts shaking and especially when it starts shaking violently to get under something to protect yourself from falling objects. When you practice what to do rather than fear or panic setting in you do what you have learned and been trained to do as a reflex. We also tell the kids that if they are in the gym or hallway and there’s nothing to get underneath to get up against a load bearing wall where there will be less of a tendency for objects to fall on you and to get down and protect your head and neck with your arms,” he said. According to reports the Great Alaska ShakeOut was successful in increasing awareness across the state of Alaska.