Buildings, Not Drills, Hold Key to Disaster-Proof Schools
The year 2011 capped a cruel winter with a hit parade of nature’s turbulent extremes. Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the cresting Mississippi, wildfires in Arizona and Texas, and deadly tornadoes from Tuscaloosa, Ala., to Joplin, Mo., served, each in its own way, as heartbreaking reminders of human vulnerability to natural disaster.
Schools answer vulnerability with preparedness, and for millions of American students that means safety drills. But such exercises fuel an unwarranted complacency when life-threatening hazards go unattended. Consider the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.
On the last Thursday in April, at 10:15 a.m., more than 3 million students, educators, and other citizens across an 11-state region dropped to the floor, covered their heads, and held on to their desks for 60 seconds. The ShakeOut, an earthquake drill modeled on a California event and endorsed by the Obama administration, marked the bicentennial of the New Madrid, Mo., earthquakes, a swarm of temblors that shook a region—that includes parts of Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas...
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- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO