When I was in elementary school (a zillion years ago), a piercing siren would go off and students would scramble to “take cover.” I remember securing my position — crouching under my wooden desk — left arm under my forehead and right arm over the back of my head and over my ear to muffle the intense sound. This was an air raid drill. These drills were as common as fire drills in the 1960’s. I remember asking my mother what would happen if it wasn’t a drill, if it was a real? She said, “It would mean the Russians are coming.”
With the chaos of the Cold War decades behind us, disaster drills are making a came back in some U.S. schools this week.
No, the Russians are not coming. The earthquakes are coming. In fact, they’re already here — causing havoc across the central part of the country.
On October 15th, FEMA and other organizations, have coordinated the Great ShakeOut, a nationwide earthquake drill. Once again, school children will be “taking cover.”
According to Reuters, government agencies are preparing school districts on how to stay safe in case of a damaging earthquake. For the first time, students will learn how to “Drop, Cover and Hold.”
Why the drills now?
In states where fracking is on the rise, scientists believe the deep disposal of wastewater from fracking is inciting seismic events — earthquakes.
With the increase of earthquakes in these central states, schools are concerned about their students. Three months ago, when an earthquake struck a public school in Crescent, Oklahoma, school superintendent Mickey Hart asked:
“In Oklahoma when you have a natural disaster like a tornado you are trained to get underground…In an earthquake you don’t want to get underground. What do you do?”
What you can do:
- Find a ShakeOut Drill near you.
- Advocate to stop methane leaks from fracking.
- Learn more about fracking pollution.