The Great Central U.S. Shake Out

Yesterday we participated in Great Central U.S. Shake Out. We practiced – along with other organizations throughout the central U.S. – what to do in the case of an earthquake. We started the day before by talking about what we would be doing – and why – in our classroom. This drill is similar to tornado and fire drills, and, like them, runs the risk of terrifying the kids. So this is how we prepare (every time):

1. I assure them we will just be practicing. This is not a real event! But that it is important that we practice so if it does happen we know what to do.

2. I tell them that in all my years of teaching, we have NEVER had a real fire, tornado or earthquake.

3. We practice being quiet because it’s important not to talk in an emergency! We need to hear and follow directions quickly!

4. I promise that if at all possible I will always let them know ahead of time when we will be practicing a drill. (I have a good principal who understands that preschoolers get scared easily and need some warning time to calm fears.)

Going thought these steps ahead of time helped calm the students, so when the whole-school practice took place yesterday the students were prepared and not scared. It worked!

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