Flirting with fake disaster

A district-wide disaster drill on Thursday morning proved that in the event of an actual emergency, the students and staff of the Central Kitsap School District would know exactly what to do.

About 9:25 a.m., a mock earthquake rattled through Central Kitsap, causing students and staff in the local schools to duck for cover. In Karen Jensen’s math class at Central Kitsap Junior High School, a voice came over the school’s loudspeaker announcing the mock earthquake. The students quickly ducked under their desks, one arm around a chair and the other over their heads.

A few seconds later, the announcement over the loudspeaker was that the buildings all had to be evacuated.

Jensen told the students to grab their belongings and head out to the football field behind the school.

As the students left the classrooms, the teachers left green door markers to indicate that no students were left in the classrooms. If it were a real emergency and there children left in the classrooms, the teacher would hang a red marker on the door, said Julie Moore, a CKJH teacher.

Once the students made it to the football field, the teachers made sure each student was accounted for and sent runners to make their reports.

Meanwhile, support staff who did not have students in their charge were assigned to teams, such as student-parent reunion, student counseling and search and rescue.

The drill lasted about a half hour and, according to Dirk Gleysteen, district director of operations, it came off “pretty well.” The drill was a planned event, so the teachers and staff knew it was going to occur.

The intention of the drill, Gleysteen said, was “to practice building and district emergency plans and procedures. We were looking for buildings to have the opportunity to practice it and see how well it works and to make whatever improvements they think are necessary.”

In addition, the drill was intended to give the district a chance to test out its communication processes during a disaster, as well, Gleysteen said.

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