March 11th brought disaster upon Japan. Now, in response, we are having a lot of disaster drills. Living on a large bay, there is some possibility of tsunami here; however, even the most conservative models show that we can’t get a terribly large one here. Regardless of that, we are running around preparing for “the big one”.
Today we will have a tsunami drill for the case where our three story concrete building is not substantial enough. We will evacuate the building, gather on the grounds, and then head for the next building. Not sure if this is the best plan considering that some of the children who perished in the disaster had evacuated to their school grounds and were waiting there when the tsunami came.
Anyhow, the drill will start in 10 minutes. We have been planning this for weeks; which begs the question: is it really a preparedness drill if we all have a schedule?
Update – The time between the earthquake warning alarm and getting all the children into the adjacent building was over 20 minutes. If the earthquake is a long way away, maybe this is acceptable, but this idea of moving us to a different building seems like a recipe for disaster.
On the positive side, they made it very clear that the most important thing was to protect yourself. They warned about the possibility of broken glass, light fixtures falling, damaged buildings.
However, we moved to the other building and took time to remove our shoes and put them neatly in shoe lockers. This delayed our entry significantly and left the children stocking footed or barefooted. On normal days, if children take off their shoes the teachers warn them it is very dangerous (could be a loose thumbtack or something on the floor); but, after an earthquake we aren’t worried?
Now to figure out how to address my concerns properly with the chain of authority (in which I am the last link).