Approximately 200 students of Salt Marsh Primary School in Trelawny were sensitised to the dangers of earthquakes, and the necessary precautionary measures to be observed in order to mitigate their deadly effects on Tuesday morning (January 12).
This was one of the activities for ‘Earth Awareness Day in Schools’, being observed in educational institutions by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), to prepare the children for possible earthquakes.
Disaster Preparedness Co-ordinator for Trelawny, Mrs. Dion Hylton-Lewis, took the enthusiastic students through the process of preparedness for an earthquake through interactive discussions and question and answer sessions.
She guided the students in the process of involvement, first in the ‘hazard hunt’, where objects and equipment, that may fall during the earthquake causing serious damage to self and property, are removed and placed in safer locations.
Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for Trelawny, Dion Hylton-Lewis, listens to a question from head boy of the Salt Marsh Primary School, Brandon Shields at an earthquake awareness day sentitization session held yesterday (Jan.12) at the school in Trelawny.
“When an earthquake strikes and you are in a building, you are advised to quickly locate a table, a door way or any other such object and duck for cover and hold on firmly. This is known as the ‘duck, cover hold’ method which is expected to give you a fair amount of emergency protection from falling furniture and other equipment that could be life-threatening,” Mrs. Hylton-Lewis explained.
She added that, if you happen to be outside, stay there and do not attempt to run into a building. Rather, ensure that you are standing away from trees, buildings or septic pits and bend down using your hands to protect your head.
She also informed students that they should be aware of the locations of all utility shut-off valves and switches, and should not attempt to touch or handle fallen wires, power lines or cables, until it is absolutely safe to do so.
Acting Principal of the Salt Marsh Primary School, Fay Davy, told JIS News that in light of the significance of Earthquake Awareness Week (January 9 – 15), it was appropriate that the students were sensitised to natural disasters such as earthquakes.
“This information will certainly help the children to be more aware of our different natural disasters, and will also assist them in knowing how to react whenever such a disaster strikes,” she said.