Earthquake & Fire Evacuation Practice

fire drill
OIS teachers complete accounting for all students during our evacuation practice today. 

Every trimester we conduct an emergency drill. The guiding principle for our Crisis Response Team (CRT) is to practice our safety procedures enough so it becomes automatic. In a real emergency when nerves may be shaken, the automatic part of the brain will tell your body to do what has been practiced so often.

In today’s drill, we practiced our earthquake followed by an evacuation due to fire. Fires commonly break out after an earthquake, so it is good to practice them at the same time. Today’s exercises had a certain sense of import, with the memories of the Northern Osaka Earthquake of 6/18 still fresh in our minds.

My big takeaway from today was that focus on timing and trying to get out of the building and everyone accounted for is really not necessary. It is better to get it right, so rushing an attendance count or hurrying to get out of the building increases the chances of a mistake.

The leadership team takes feedback from our stakeholders after every crisis response drill and reflects on what we can do better. Today I am thinking a lot about accounting for everyone at school, including part-time teachers and office staff. It is also tricky to take accurate attendance when students are absent or arrive at school late. We need to build in redundancies in attendance to make sure we are not making mistakes. It would also be good for the CRT to have checklists available so we do not forget anything.

Thanks to the student, teachers and staff for their performance today!

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