Being Prepared When A Disaster Strikes

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Being Prepared When A Disaster Strikes

Photo by Hannah Robertson

Photo by Hannah Robertson

Photo by Hannah Robertson

Hannah Robertson, student-journalist

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Most schools have an effective plan to get all the students and teachers out safely in case of an emergency. Natural disasters can happen at any time and most kids and their families do not have a system to use at home.

Here at Clairemont High School (CHS), students and teachers need to be prepared and have the knowledge to stay safe.

CHS ninth grader Anabella Hartman said, “I feel that right now I would kind of have no idea what to do.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created steps to take for making a plan. Signing up for weather alerts, decide on a meeting spot, make sure at least one adult knows how to shut off electricity and water, consider CPR training, and knowing what to do with family pets.

Researching and using these steps can better ensure safety and preparedness for everyone.

Nationwide insurance company’s website shows items to put in an emergency kit.

Useful items include a supply of water, non-perishable foods, needed utensils, flashlights with extra batteries, blankets, clothing, and a first aid kit.

It should be kept close to a door or in a garage and be easy to grab and locate.

“I guess I’ve never thought about it before, I know it could happen to me but I’ve never thought about how to be ready. At school I know what to do though but not at my home,” Hartman said.

Some staff members are prepared and have a plan in case of a major catastrophe.

CHS Principal Dr. Roberson said, “I use an app that I recommend everyone should download, it’s called SD emergency. It helps prepare my house and my family for any type of emergency, whether it’s a fire or earthquake. I also have a plan. I have food and water, radio, flashlights, and an emergency kit ready to go.”

For the most part, the majority of Chieftains do well during the drills at Clairemont. Although there are still things schools need to work on.

“I think (that) in elementary and middle school we take drills very seriously, but in high school, I see a lot of the students not taking them seriously when we practice. Even though we do a great job at practice, I don’t feel that we’re taking them seriously, so I think we could work on that,” said Dr. Roberson.

Some students think it is just a drill and that they do not need to hurry to the evacuation area. Even though it is practice everyone needs to be serious to be ready for the real thing.

Freshman Jasmine Tran said, “During the fire drills we have at school some students only see it as a time to hang out with their friends.”

People living in California do not need to worry about hurricanes and tornadoes, but they do need to think about earthquakes and wildfires. Most people may not think that these things could happen to them, but the odds are higher than they think.

Hartman said, “The fires that happened recently in California made me think about what I would do if I was in that situation.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, about one-third of all homes in the U.S. are prone to burning due to being near dry trees and vegetation.

When alerted of a wildfire, make sure all family members are accounted for, then shut off the gas, close all windows, and if needed find an evacuation route.

“It’s always better to be over prepared than not prepared at all,” Hartman said.

Everyone should know what to do in these types of situations, there is always a chance it could happen.