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Schools Practicing Disaster Drills

June 9, 2014

Photo: hpeguk/CC by 2.0

Image Credit: Photo: hpeguk/CC by 2.0

Schools are working hard to prepare for disaster in the wake of a recent spate of violent school shootings.

On the Peninsula this Sunday, Redwood City police and fire officials conducted a training exercise at Roosevelt Elementary School to practice response tactics in the event of violence on a school campus.

The Enhanced School Safety Plan was created in the city in response to acts of violence on school campuses across the country. Officials in Redwood City hope that preparation will help to safeguard schools there.

Along with an actual drill, part of the safety plan includes on-site lectures about Code Red or School Lockdown procedures. The plan also puts refines existing departmental emergency response plans and training simulations that reflect a true disaster.

Emergency officials participated in the simulation drills at the elementary school from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, police and fire officials said.

Streets around the school were shut down during the simulation, which included an active shooter and mass casualty practice exercise, officials said.

According to Redwood City police, the multi-phased preparedness plan is the result of the Police Department’s commitment to developing and testing the most effective practices associated with reducing and responding to campus violence.

The simulation produces a “real life” dramatization of what a school shooting situation might look like. But what should a student do if ever in a true life situation?

Here are a three things officials say a child can do to survive a school shooter.

  1. Run Away: Research shows that many school shootings had various victims because they had congregated in one area. Encourage your child to run away – off campus and toward law enforcement or a nearby  home for shelter to call 911.
  2. Hide: If your child cannot leave campus, encourage your child to hide out of view from the shooter.
  3. Fight: While the hope is to not have your child encounter a shooter, if your child does, it is important for your child to know to fight back. Grab unlikely weapon like scissors or anything he or she can find and try to protect them before running away out of the danger zone.