Earthquake!

“When I was in line, I had time to eat the rest of my grapes!” Mia Funt (11) exclaimed with a grin; A fun fact adding to what students did besides practicing how to evacuate in case of an emergency.

Art/Photo by Kate Phan

“When I was in line, I had time to eat the rest of my grapes!” Mia Funt (11) exclaimed with a grin; A fun fact adding to what students did besides practicing how to evacuate in case of an emergency.

Kate Phan, Staff Writer

   From the corner of your eyes, water bottles, pens, and hand sanitizer wobble atop a school desk. Earthquake! You find somewhere safe to hide which, in a classroom, is under a desk. One hand grips the table’s leg and the other covers your neck and head, protecting you from possible injuries. After a few seconds, the ground stops shaking, and you and your classmates follow one another to your third period lineup on the practice field. This is West High’s earthquake drill.

   Living along the San Andreas fault has California residents living on a fault line. On October 21, over 13.9 million earthquake drills were conducted at schools across the nation— including West High— during the Great ShakeOut that happens every year on the third Thursday of October. At 10:15 AM with the sound of the alarm, students stopped, dropped, and took cover as they would during a real earthquake. 

   New to the West High earthquake procedures, student Jeremy Born (9) was in the Performing Arts Center for his third period class. Prior to the drill, Born confessed that he wasn’t “100% sure” what to do. But after the drill, he feels as prepared as he can be for the actual event of an earthquake.

   On the second floor of Building 3, Mia Funt (11) was in her history class when the earthquake drill started. While in a conversation with her friend, she was interrupted and quickly went under an available desk. Funt and her classmates then evacuated and lined up near the baseball field and received a nice break from school while faculty members completed their drill procedures. She added that there were “so many people crammed down the Building 3 stairs,” and it was “hard to get through.”

   Following the Great ShakeOut drill, Funt still didn’t feel completely prepared for an earthquake. She questioned, “Are people actually going to follow the procedures we have? If we’re in a disaster, we’re probably all going to panic or be in shock, right?” Funt has never experienced an in-school earthquake so she’s unsure of what people’s reactions will be. 

   The Great ShakeOut helps students know what to do and where to be in the event of an emergency, but there could be loose ends and remaining questions. If the procedures for any disaster are unclear you should discuss your concerns with a faculty member.