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Students prep for earthquake emergencies during ‘The Great ShakeOut’

Schools around the world took part in a simultaneous mock earthquake drill on Thursday, where crawling under a table or desk was only the beginning.

“The Great ShakeOut” saw more than six million Kindergarten-12th Grade students in California and millions more around the globe practice earthquake safety. Santa Barbara Unified School District preschoolers also participated, as did Santa Barbara City College.

Along the Santa Barbara South Coast, the drill took place at each school at about 10:18 a.m. At La Colina Junior High School in Santa Barbara, all of the students practiced the “duck, cover and hold on” under their desks before evacuating to an open area outside away from the school.

Then staff members practiced their emergency response team duties as they would in a real emergency. A search and rescue team practiced finding pre-placed students dealing with different injuries.

“My hope is that every school take these drills really seriously because our students’ safety is of utmost concern,” La Colina Assistant Principal Carole Nevarez said. “And we need to practice and implement these drills regularly so that our staff feels confident in their abilities to help our kids.”

Nevarez says La Colina has been participating in the ShakeOut for five years and that the school has seen noticeable progress in how efficiently students and staff can carry out the drill.

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