ODM and the Ministry of Education Builds Earthquake Awareness in Schools

A "DROP, COVER and HOLD ON" exercise was executed in schools on Thursday March 19, 2020 at 10am. As always, students were encouraged to take the message home to their families and continue to practice.

ODM and the Ministry of Education Builds Earthquake Awareness in Schools

The ODM wishes to express appreciation to the Ministry of Education for this partnership. Special mention must be made of Dominica Grammar School’s students, staff and Principal, Ms. Jean-Jacques, for accommodating the ODM in preparing a video on Earthquake Safety on Wednesday March 11 as part of the activities under the EWS Project supported by the UNDP and their partners to "Strengthen integrated and cohesive preparedness capacity at a regional, national and community level in the Caribbean".

Based on years of research about how people are injured or killed during earthquakes and the experiences of international search and rescue personnel, Drop, Cover and Hold On remains the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake. The main goal of "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is to protect you from falling and flying objects and other nonstructural hazards such as TVs, lamps, broken glass, light fixtures, bookcases, among others. In this position, you become a smaller target and it provides greater protection for vital organs. By taking cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, you increase your chance of ending up in a Survivable Void Space as the space under a sturdy table or desk is likely to remain even if the building actually collapses.

It is not recommended to run outside or to other rooms during shaking as trying to move puts you at risk. Earthquakes occur without any warning and the shaking could be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. You therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground. Major injury can be avoided by dropping to the ground before the earthquake drops you.

ODM and the Ministry of Education Builds Earthquake Awareness in Schools

Windows and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. Keep away from this danger zone by staying inside if you are inside and outside if you are outside.

Drop, Cover and Hold On provides greater protection for occupants of institutions with a large population on any given day and occupies more than one floor, such as schools and work places. This provides a better chance for crowd control and reduces the chance of students or adults being hurt from panic and stampede or even rushing to a set of stairs that have been compromised during the earthquake. Variations of the Drop, Cover and Hold On practice can also be used by persons who are dependent on the use of a cane, walker or wheelchair.

Be reminded that earthquakes can occur at any time. Be prepared. Be safe.

Posted: 25/03/2020