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Exploring Earthquakes with the 5 E's – Teacher-Created Lesson Plan | Common Sense Education
Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Learn more Check out. Citing Literature. Volume 19 , Issue 4 December Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. For this reason, this lesson by no means provides a complete or appropriate guidance to emergency plan preparation for every school. Whenever possible, have the emergency response plan developed in this lesson reviewed by appropriate school authorities, emergency specialists, research scientists, administrative planners, and other members of the community e.
Note: It may be best to conduct this lesson before or after school, when there are few other school students present to disrupt or distract from the activities. In some cases, this lesson may be completed during class time when there are no students in the hallways, but it must be done quietly. The drill should be coordinated with the knowledge of school officials to prevent falsely alarming other students or educators that may be present.
Tell students they are going to develop and test an emergency response plan and an earthquake drill for their school in this lesson. Ask students to explain the difference between an emergency response plan and a drill. Explain to them that an emergency response plan is a comprehensive plan that incorporates as much information about what to do in an emergency as possible, including safe routes to follow, structural and non-structural hazards, helpful resources, meeting places, and key emergency personnel for a particular location e. The purpose of this comprehensive plan is to describe and support as many practical responses as possible for a variety of circumstances, and to serve as a guide for conducting earthquake drills.
An earthquake drill is one set of simulated emergency circumstances designed to test the ability of school members to make the most appropriate decisions to ensure their safety. The school members should understand the emergency response plan sufficiently in order to react appropriately during the drill. Explain to students that with careful planning it is much safer to overreact to a minor tremor than it is to underreact to a major earthquake — since even a minor tremor provides a convenient opportunity to test drill response times, gathering locations, efficiency of movement, ability to handle secondary hazards i.
The goals of any drill regimen should be continuous practice, assessment, and improvement. Note: Because circumstances and hazards vary substantially by region, city, and building or location when an earthquake strikes, there are few standard guidelines to producing a well-developed earthquake response plan. The students have just graduated from university and earned jobs as Emergency Response Coordinators ERCs for their country specializing in emergency response at schools. As part of their job, they have the opportunity to travel from school to school all across the country developing effective earthquake drills that take into account the particular hazards that students at the school might face during an earthquake.
Note: It may be best to conduct this final activity before or after school, when there are few other school students present to disrupt or distract from the activity. In some cases, this activity may be completed during class time when there are no students in the hallways, but it must be done quietly. Potential answers: Many different disciplines are helpful for supporting the work of Emergency Response Coordinators.
ERCs need technical specialists, such as people with a background in geosciences, engineering, or architecture, so that the latest geohazards data can be interpreted in the context of earthquake hazard detection and quantification. Trade specialists such as carpenters or nurses understand how earthquake response plans and mitigation techniques affect the management of emergency supplies and earthquake-resistant structures. ERCs may also need linguists who can translate the work into multiple languages if there are many ethnic groups in seismically-active areas across the country.
Almost all government groups require accountants and planners to ensure that government money does not go to waste through poor planning. Finally, earthquake education specialists may be required to effectively communicate the causes, effects, and mitigation techniques of earthquakes to all parts of society, including children, working parents, and the elderly, who may not otherwise have any contact with earthquake planning efforts.
A government may choose to pay for ERCs because prevention is the best way to save lives and avoid costly property damage before an earthquake happens. The ERCs have traditionally functioned as small teams that work independently and then gather to discuss their conclusions and approaches in order to create the earthquake drills. Each team is assigned the same task: create an earthquake response plan that outlines the safest actions that students should take during an earthquake, then conduct at least one drill to test the response plan in action.
Potential answers: With small teams working for the same goal, each team can take a different approach that fits the group's experience; as a result, each might come to a different conclusion or emphasize a different area of importance compared to other teams. When the teams compare their results at the end of the activity, the input from these different perspectives can make the final earthquake drill more comprehensive, effective, flexible, and complete.
Some disadvantages might be that small groups of people lack the number of people necessary to tackle the volume of work expected, or it may not have participants with sufficiently diverse skill sets. The ERCs the students should now be broken into 3—4 teams. Using information from Lessons 7—10, each team will work independently to develop an earthquake response plan for its school. The first task will be to research whether the school or community already has an earthquake plan. Assign one team to investigate this possibility and summarize the findings to the other teams before beginning their own earthquake response plan activities.
Meanwhile, the remaining teams should be assigned to work independently to develop a comprehensive earthquake plan. This drill must be specifically developed for the school, and should take into account its geographical and geological location, structural and non-structural hazards, surrounding environment nearby structures, trees, power lines, etc.
To do this, the teams must be allowed to inspect the classroom and school to identify all hazards present within the classroom and along any foreseeable evacuation routes if this has not already been done in previous lessons. The teams should then figure out all possible earthquake responses and walk them out. Also, they should mark them on a map of the school, taking note of any hazards that might be present along the way loose pipes, electrical fixtures, furniture, and even points where the flow of students from other classrooms may cause some students to be trampled.
Encourage the students to use their imaginations to foresee the greatest number of possible hazard scenarios, and to develop simple response solutions that reduce the risk associated with these scenarios as much as possible. Hazards, evacuation routes, and helpful supplies should all be color-coded and marked on the map using colored pencils. There are some general procedures that everyone in every community should follow, and these should serve as the basic guiding principles of any earthquake emergency response plan:.
Note: Depending on your school's location and hazards along the evacuation route, your school or classroom may only have one possible or practical earthquake response. Alternatively, the most practical response for some students in some locations may be to shelter-in-place. The most important aspect of conducting and evaluating an effective earthquake response plan is to consider all possibilities and then instill in students the reasoning behind selecting the course of action that is most likely to ensure their survival.
Potential answers: Each team must "walk out" all evacuation routes because often the students are so familiar with these routes in their day-to-day lives that they overlook the true hazards that can arise during earthquakes. For example, in many schools there are pipes with steam or hot water running overhead, which the students hardly notice.
Little Earthquakes Lesson Plans
During an earthquake, a broken steam pipe can render an evacuation route unusable. Walking the route and looking specifically for these hazards can be a very eye-opening activity. The routes should also be compared according to how much time it takes to reach a safe, designated meeting point. Teams should develop multiple routes in case an unexpected hazard or circumstance has rendered the selected route unusable. But even then, it is not advised to merely tell the students what the best route is and expect them to do it; this misses the entire point of planning.
Students must understand why a route is the preferred route and what the alternatives are should the route be unusable. Having the students determine the best possible route and provide the reasoning behind the selection of the best route empowers the students through inclusion in the decision-making process as well as trains them to use their best judgment when evaluating emergency situations, simulated or real.
Some advantages of this approach are that more possibilities are discussed and evaluated, students are empowered to make the decisions that may save their lives, and systematic vulnerabilities to earthquake hazards can be discovered, reduced, or eliminated with little or no cost to the school.
However, there are also some disadvantages to this approach. Developing, evaluating, and selecting many possible routes can be time-consuming and confusing if the drills are not conducted regularly to train the students to make fast decisions, yet this effort is the only way to avoid advocating an unrealistic "one size fits all" policy of earthquake response since circumstances vary so much from city to city and building to building.
Some earthquake responses, such as shelter-in-place, do not involve evacuation. These responses may be necessary for earthquakes that are so powerful or disruptive that walking or running is not possible or for buildings that are strong enough to withstand an earthquake, but there may be many non-structural hazards along the evacuation route. This is the case in most schools in California where "drop, cover, and hold" is a common procedure.
For this procedure, students take shelter underneath their desk or table and hold on to the leg of that desk or table while holding on to the back of their necks with the other hand to protect them from debris. Students should be prepared to move as necessary with the table or the object during the emergency. If this is a necessary strategy for a classroom, it should be practiced multiple times during the earthquake drill Tabletop Experiment below.
For shelter-in-place scenarios, the teams should critically evaluate any shelter-in-place resources such as tables as to whether these resources can realistically provide shelter from structural, non-structural, and secondary hazards. If the resources are not sufficient, it may be worth examining whether the appropriate resources can be put in place before an earthquake strikes. For example, a number of small, flimsy tables might be exchanged for larger, sturdier tables being used elsewhere in the school for no extra cost that can more effectively shelter all students.
The Three Little Pigs in Earthquake Land
After the ERCs have "walked out" all of their possible escape routes and surveyed the school, ask the ERCs to consider the possibility that a student, group of students, or an adult have become trapped underneath debris structural or non-structural during an earthquake if they have not done so already. Potential answers: One possible answer is that a small survival tube may help victims of an earthquake trapped in a building. The tube could have a whistle, sterile water packet, a chemical light stick, and a mask.
The whistle can make sounds much louder than a voice without placing strain on the throat and also make noise while the trapped person conserves air in a confined place. The tube should be small enough that students can carry it in their school bags or attach it underneath their desks or large tables and have it still be quickly within reach. One of the most important questions to consider is whether students should help an injured or trapped person during or immediately following an earthquake. This is a difficult question to answer since there can be so many different circumstances and levels of danger that an injured person may be facing.
The first task should be to either call for help or send a nearby person to find help while one person stays to comfort the injured person. If the injured person is in immediate danger and there are no other emergency personnel around, only then should a decision be made to move or attempt to provide care for an injured person. ERCs may want to consider providing additional training to students on emergency first aid techniques from qualified personnel if emergency response workers are not expected to be nearby when an earthquake occurs. Finally, the teams should now discuss and compile all results from their earthquake response assessment so that the earthquake response plan can be developed and finalized.
The teams should take turns outlining each possible response, marking the path of that response on a master earthquake response map, and identifying all hazards, exits, and useful resources that may exist along the route of the plan.
All response plans should conclude by identifying and planning to meet at an unambiguous designated meeting point outside the school. If certain resources are necessary or helpful for coordinating a response whistles for emergency rescue, medical supplies for small wounds sustained during an earthquake, etc. If the school already has an earthquake response plan, have the students compare their independent assessment with the school's plan. After the ERCs have compiled and finalized their emergency response plan, the plan is presented to the school administrator.
The school administrator decides to put together emergency safety kits to place around the school. The school administrator asks the ERCs for help to gather materials for these kits. Potential answers: Immediate human needs are food, water, and shelter.
Any kit should include at minimum water, water purification tablets, canned or dried food or any food that does not require a refrigerator , and some emergency blankets. Other very helpful needs are information, lighting, and medical supplies. If possible, the kit should also include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, money, a first aid kit, and family or class photos that can be used to identify or convey vital information about missing family or community members.
Students or community members with special medical needs such as vital medications should take it upon themselves to ensure that their medical needs can be met with the items in the safety kit. Kits should be checked periodically to ensure the freshness and quantity of supplies. The kits should be in easy-to-find locations that are at safe distances from structural and non-structural hazards. These should be locations that are also unlikely to be covered with rubble or debris should a strong earthquake occur.
Note: Remind the students that most disaster response organizations recommend that plans are made to provide complete care i.