All set to combat emergencies

05 April 2009

Focus Humanitarian Assistance India in partnership with Diamond Jubilee High School conducted an Emergency Evacuation Drill for its students and teachers in March 2009.

Focus Humanitarian Assistance India in partnership with Diamond Jubilee High School conducted an Emergency Evacuation Drill for its students and teachers in March 2009. The evacuation drill is a comprehensive school safety initiative undertaken by the school.

When a natural hazard strikes, children are among the most vulnerable groups, especially those attending school in the event of disaster. The lesson aims to create a culture of safety and preparedness within schools that would spread to create disaster resilient communities. This is achieved by forming and training the School Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), training tasks force committees, creating awareness amongst stakeholders like students, teachers, administrative staff and trustees, developing school disaster management plans and conducting mock evacuation drills.

SEMC is formed by bringing together key stakeholders from the school community consisting of 9 - 15 members including director / trustee, school principal, supervisor / senior teacher, president PTA, students (both male and female). It is important for the members of the school committee to have a comprehensive knowledge of their school, its layout, local hazards, risks elements and present coping capacities.

After the completion of the SEMC and tasks force training, an Emergency Evacuation Drill was conducted. Mock drills are performed to train students and teachers to test the various elements of the response plan. Drills and exercises are an integral part of the preparedness plan as they teach students, teachers and parents how to respond to the complication of an actual disaster and help one evaluate how well all parts of the emergency plan work together. The students were enthusiastic to take part in the mock drill. They paid their utmost attention to the various emergency situations and their remedies.