Students get lesson in disaster readiness

Pencils stopped writing, eyes looked away from their pages and hundreds of little bodies dove under their desks.

Students get lesson in disaster readiness

Pencils stopped writing, eyes looked away from their pages and hundreds of little bodies dove under their desks.

The Great B.C. Shake Out drill was performed and learned by the students, teachers and staff at Ladysmith Intermediate School, Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The local kids joined thousands of people province-wide in the earthquake drill.

Principal Cathal Walsh said the students did a good job.

“It’s the second drill of the year we’ve done, but the first time we did an evacuation,” he said. “The kids were good and the teachers directed well.”

The drill gives people a chance to commit to physical memory the drop, cover and hold on procedure.

Walsh said the school was completely evacuated in about four minutes.

In Terry Boyle’s Grade 7 class, the children were trying to concentrate on their reading assignments, wary of the impending drill.

When the shaking sounds came over the PA system, the students swiftly moved under the desk, making sure heads were covered and they were holding on tight.

The counting then began.

“The counting represents the typical time a shake would happen,” Walsh explained. “It’s 60 seconds for the shake time and 60 seconds after in case it shakes again.”

The counting keeps the kids occupied.

“Most importantly the counting gives kids a sense of security. It’s something to concentrate on,” he said.

“It’s going to be loud, there might be windows breaking and people screaming and the counting calms them and gives kids something to concentrate on.”

More than 460,000 people in B.C. participated in the Shake Out drill.