PRACTICE makes perfect.
Twice a month, elementary and high school students in public schools will have to practice their fire and earthquake evacuation measures.
In a December 9 order, the Department of Education directed public school officials to conduct “unannounced fire and earthquake drills every first and third week of every month.”
Schools in the National Capital Region, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan are tasked to create a separate and specific disaster plan for a magnitude 7 or higher earthquake.
The plan should include the response for a scenario involving mass casualties of learners and personnel.
The DepEd noted that calamities and emergencies may strike anytime, and an effective preparedness plan is key to saving lives.
“Accordingly, local drills and simulation exercises are preventive measures that familiarize escape routes and reinforce proper actions in the occurrence of a calamity. Frequent practice of these drills and exercises would turn these actions into automatic reflexes that would manifest during an actual calamity,” it said.
The directive is in line with its commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of its learners and School personnel, it said.
The school heads are tasked to lead the planning, implementation, and regular monitoring of these drills.
What about private schools?
The DepEd said the private schools, community learning centers and state and local universities may adopt the Department Order as basis in the conduct of their own earthquake and fire drills.
The national government conducts nationwide earthquake drills in its offices every quarter.