The fifth-grade class of St. Ferdinand received a historic lesson in Missouri area earthquakes by geophysicist Greg Hempen as well as the best ways to prepare for a disaster. At 10:15 a.m., the class followed the procedure of what would happen in the event of an earthquake by dropping, covering and holding onto something.
“Preparedness is the key,” Florissant Police Department Sgt. Kevin Boschert said. “We have a responsibility to the community to educate on emergency preparedness.”
Boschert along with Police Chief William Karabas, Mayor Tom Schneider and members of the Florissant Valley Fire Department attended the educational session.
St. Ferdinand principal Jeanne Gearon said that she and her faculty and staff discuss emergency drills at the beginning of the school year and practice them with their classes. She also encourages teachers to throw in a drill on days for classes to be able to practice and remember the procedures.
Gearon also said that Tuesday morning was a chance for the school to gain feedback and pointers. For instance, she said that a couple of firefighters pointed out that the maintenance team should look into better securing for the bookshelves, which she said she would have maintenance check out.
Steve Besemer, the earthquake program manager for the Missouri Emergency Management Agency, said that St. Ferdinand was one of five schools selected for a media event across the state for the earthquake drill.
Sgt. Boschert advised residents as well as schools and businesses to have an emergency plan.
He said that there should be a trash can with a lid on it full of supplies, including a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, a battery-operated radio, a gallon of water per person per day for seven days as well as food that doesn’t need a lot for preparation such as tuna and peanut butter.
For more information on earthquake drills as well as more about today’s event, visit the ShakeOut website.