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 organizing 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 726,651 in April 2014.
With the recent incident of the earthquake in 2015 in Nepal which affected several schools, it is important that we in India should 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. Usually, 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 on and then evacuate to a pre-decided safe location, and carry out the necessary post evacuation procedures.
Originally, the drill was organized 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, Uttara hand, 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). In 2014 the SSPD touched a new horizon when GHS partnered with National Disaster Management Authority of India and an overwhelming 726,651 participants in more than 1100 schools participated in the drill across India(report). This number increased to more than 10,00,000 participants in 2016 when the drill was organized along with education department of Delhi.
This year the School Safety Preparedness Drill is going to be held at 11:00 am IST on Tuesday the 4th April 2017.
Some useful resource materials: