Washington, DC -- Washington State students got to practice earthquake drills during a state-wide Disaster Month exercise on April 6. Students from Chain Lake Elementary School, in Monroe, were among those who learned how to stay safe when the ground starts shaking.
"We consider the education of students our primary goal and that includes preparing them to deal with natural disasters," said Mike Murphy, director of secondary education for the Monroe Public Schools. "We do live in an earthquake zone and our community has been rocked by numerous earthquakes over the years."
Students at Chain Lake Elementary practiced getting under desks when a siren sounded and in evacuating the school, after which teachers flashed green placards to indicate all the students were accounted for. FEMA officials were on hand during the school's drills. For the past year, FEMA's Region X has donated truckloads of computers and related communications equipment to the school district. The donation, allowed under Presidential Executive Order, enhances student access to high-tech applications - including the FEMA for Kids Web site.
"Putting computers in schools is a priority and we are proud to be able to help," said David L. deCourcy, director of FEMA's Region X. "This month is Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington State and we'll be using the new equipment to reinforce emergency preparedness concepts and earthquake survival skills."