School Safety Preparedness Drill: India
The School Safety Preparedness Drill was initiated by GeoHazards Society to commemorate the Kangra Earthquake of 1905 which killed over 19,000 people on April 4th 1905, as it is important to keep the memories of past disasters alive to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Since 2009, we have been organising the School Safety Preparedness Drills in various States to mark the anniversary of the Kangra earthquake and to get schools in earthquake prone regions started on their path towards preparedness. Starting with a drill across a few north Indian states in which 10,000 people took part, the number of people taking part has grown to 50,893 in April 2013.
With the recent reminders of our exposure to hazards coming in from prepared nations such as New Zealand and Japan, it is imperative that we in India start taking swift steps towards preparedness. The School Safety Preparedness Drill is an earthquake drill based on a scenario earthquake happening near enough to affect the school. At 11:00 am on the 4th of April every year, all the students and staff of many schools in hazard prone areas in India practice the Drop, Cover, Hold and then evacuate to a pre-decided safe location, and carry out the necessary post evacuation procedures.This is an initiative of GeoHazards Society, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, and GeoHazards International.
Originally, the drill was organised with Tibetan schools in earthquake zones which soon spread to other schools in earthquake prone States. In 2009, over 10,000 students in Tibetan Schools in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Meghalaya took part in the drill (report). With the addition of students from Tibetan Schools in Jammu & Kashmir, and West Bengal, the number of students participating in the drill rose up to 16000 in 2010 (report) and 17500 in 2011 (report). In 2012 the included non-Tibetan schools from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh taking the total number of participating students and teachers went up to 28410 (report).School children in about 165 Schools (in J & K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh), and a school in Myanmar took part in the mass earthquake preparedness activity of 2013 (report).
This year the School Safety Preparedness Drill was held on 11:00 am IST on Friday the 4th April 2014. Schools from North India, North East India and all Tibetan schools participated in the mass earthquake drill. A massive number of schools from Delhi participated from all districts. Mizoram is the new state to be included this year. A large number of schools from Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts in West Bengal, Guwahati & Tinsukia districts in Assam, North Sikkim and Gangtok from Sikkim, took part in the drill.(The compilation is going on to findout the actual number of schools and participants took part in the drill).
Some useful resource materials:
1) A brief note on the School Safety Preparedness Drill 2014
2) Poster showing Drop Cover Hold on
3) Poster showing how to do Drop Cover Hold on
4) Checklist for Evacuation Drills
5) Learn what to do & not to do
6) Drop Cover Hold Saves Lives
Annual Bhutan School Preparedness Drill 2013
As you are aware, recently GeoHazards Society (GHS) along with GeoHazards International partnered with Royal Government of Bhutan to organize a Mass Preparedness Drill in All Schools of Bhutan. On 20th September at 10:15 am all schools of Bhutan participated in an Earthquake Preparedness drill as to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Mongar earthquake (2009). This was first of its kind drill in the world where all schools of the entire nation participated. GHS provided technical support to the event which was administered by Ministry of Education and Department of Disaster Management of Bhutan and Geohazards staff with financial assistance from Embassy of Czech Republic in New Delhi. Please click here for a brief report on the event.