Emergency Drill Information

Emergency Drills

As part of the implementation of the district’s adopted crisis intervention plan, the superintendent or designee has the responsibility for developing and maintaining the district’s emergency preparedness plans and emergency drill schedules.

Emergency Drills

The superintendent or designee, in cooperation with the buildings principals, will develop emergency drills (fire, tornados, bus emergencies, earthquakes, bomb threats, and armed intruder/active shooter situations). Additional emergency drills may be developed and practiced at the discretion of the superintendent. Instruction on all emergency drills shall be given early in the school year, and emergency drills shall be held regularly throughout the year. The district will conduct emergency drills as required by law and policy and will ensure that the number of emergency drills conducted is sufficient to give instruction and practice in proper actions by staff and students during lockdown, shelter-in-place and evacuation. Emergency exiting procedures will be posted near the door in each building.

The superintendent and/or the building principal will schedule and execute emergency drills. Principals who schedule emergency drills will provide the superintendent advance notice of drills. The district will cooperate and coordinate emergency drills with other community agencies such as the fire department, law enforcement officials, emergency medical services and local emergency planning communities. Pursuant to law, armed intruder/active shooter drills will be conducted and led by law enforcement professionals.

Emergency evacuation drills on school buses will be conducted for all students in grades kindergarten through six at least once per semester with the first drill completed prior to October 31st annually.

Earthquake Preparedness Disaster Plans and Drills

In accordance with law, the superintendent or designee, cooperating with building principals, shall develop and implement a district wide school building disaster plan, in order to protect students and staff before, during and after an earthquake. The plan will be designed specifically to minimize the danger to students, staff and district property as a result of an earthquake and will be ready for implementation at any time. The superintendent or designee will request assistance with developing and establishing the earthquake emergency procedure system from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and any local emergency management agency located within district boundaries.

An emergency exercise will be held at least twice each school year that will require students and staff to simulate earthquake frequency conditions and practice the procedures that are to be implemented under such conditions.

The superintendent shall develop a program that ensures that all students and staff of the district are aware of and properly trained in the earthquake emergency procedure system. This emergency procedure system shall be available for public inspection at the district office during normal business hours.

At the beginning of each school year, the district shall distribute to all students information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), SEMA and other sources in order to help students understand the causes and effects of earthquakes and the best and latest safety measures available to them in an earthquake situation.

Earthquake Safety For Missouri’s Schools

The New Madrid Seismic Zone Extends 120 Miles Southward from the area of Charleston, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois, through New Madrid and Caruthersville, following Interstate 55 to Blytheville and on down to Marked Tree, Arkansas. The NMSZ consists of a series of large, ancient faults that are buried beneath thick, soft sediments. These faults cross five state lines and cross the Mississippi River in three places and the Ohio River in two places.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone and surrounding region is Active, Averaging More than 200 Measured Events per Year (Magnitude 1.0 or greater), about 20 per month. Tremors large enough to be felt (Magnitude 2.5 – 3.0) are noted every year. The fault releases a shock of 4.0 or more, capable of local minor damage, about every 18 months. Magnitudes of 5.0 or greater occur about once per decade. They can cause significant damage and be felt in several states.

The Highest Earthquake Risk in the United States outside the West Coast is in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Damaging temblors are not as frequent as in California, but when they do occur, the destruction covers over more than 20 times the area due to the nature of geologic materials in the region. The 1968 5.5 magnitude Dale, Illinois earthquake toppled chimneys and caused damage to unreinforced masonry in the St. Louis area, more than 100 miles from the epicenter. A 5.2 magnitude earthquake in April 2008 in southeast Illinois, did not cause damage in Missouri, but was felt across much of the state.

A Damaging Earthquake in this Area, which experts say is about a 6.0 magnitude event, occurs about once every 80 years (the last one in 1895 was centered near Charleston, Missouri). There is estimated to be a 25-40% chance for a magnitude 6.0 – 7.5 or greater earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone in a 50-year period according to the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The results would be serious damage to un-reinforced masonry buildings and other structures from Memphis to St. Louis. We are certainly overdue for this type of earthquake!

A Major Earthquake in this Area - the Great New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-12 was actually a series of over 2000 shocks in five months, with several quakes believed to be a 7.0 Magnitude or higher. Eighteen of these rang church bells on the Eastern seaboard. The very land itself was destroyed in the Missouri Bootheel, making it unfit even for farming for many years. It was the largest release of seismic energy east of the Rocky Mountains in the history of the U.S. and was several times larger than the San Francisco quake of 1906.

When Will Another Great Earthquake the Size of Those in 1811-12 Happen? Several lines of research suggest that the catastrophic upheavals like those in 1811-12 visit the New Madrid region every 500-600 years. Hence, emergency planners, engineers, and seismologists do not expect a repeat of the intensity of the 1811-12 series for at least 100 years or more. However, even though the chance is remote, experts estimate the chances for a repeat earthquake of similar magnitude to the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes over a 50-year period to be a 7 - 10% probability.

What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves? Education, planning, proper building construction, and preparedness are proven means to minimize earthquake losses, deaths, and injuries.

Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan

  • Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.

  • Practice DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold onto the desk or table with one hand, and protect the back of the head with the other hand. If there's no table or desk nearby, kneel on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you and protect the back of your head with one hand and your face with the other arm.

  • Choose an out-of-town family contact.

  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.

  • Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.

  • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.

Eliminate Hazards

  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.

  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.

  • Install strong latches on cupboards.

  • Strap the water heater to wall studs.

Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit for Home and Car

  • First aid kit and essential medications.

  • Canned food and can opener.

  • At least three gallons of water per person.

  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.

  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.

  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.

  • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

  • Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.

Know What to Do When the Shaking BEGINS

  • DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows.

  • In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.

  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Know What to Do AFTER the Shaking Stops

  • Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.

  • Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.

  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)

  • Listen to the radio for instructions.

  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!

  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.

  • Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.

The information contained in the flier was extracted from the American Red Cross website http://www.redcross.org/services/prepare/0,1082,0_241_,00.html, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency website (http://sema.dps.mo.gov/EQ.htm) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency website (http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake). This flier could be distributed by school districts to each student annually to satisfy the requirements of RSMo 160.455