Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

By | December 29, 2017

Acknowledgement: Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Navneet Yadav, Er. Sunil Dhiman (Pics Credit too) and Mr. Amit Gautam who have been instrumental in promoting the School Safety initiatives in the Himachal Pradesh state and taking this effort to a next level. It is the trio, who inspired me at different phases of my professional career especially in Training & Capacity Building part. My Best Wishes to these Real Heroes working restlessly for the societal well-being.


Today I will be sharing an article on a very important aspect of School Safety i.e. Conducting Earthquake Drill in School/ Education Institutions.

Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

On the day of 26th January 2001, a fatal earthquake had struck Gujarat state very hard and a large number of schools were severely affected causing hundreds of fatalities from the schools.

After December 2005, when the Disaster Management Act came in existence, more efforts were focused on the School Safety concept by the Govt. of India along with the Humanitarian Organizations.

In Himachal Pradesh, 4th April is celebrated as Kangra Earthquake Anniversary. On this day, many schools/ educational institutions conduct Earthquake Drill commemorating this day. Also 13th October of every year is celebrated as International Day for Disaster Reduction.

Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

Introduction to Earthquake Drill:

Earthquake Drill is a series of coordinated actions practiced by a larger group of people for the purpose of safe evacuation at the time of earthquake type situation. It is based on the lines of the Drop, Cover and Hold concept.

Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

Earthquake Drill Procedure (School):

  1. Alarm Operation

A pre-defined Uniquesignal such as a bell or siren is set off indicating earthquake occurrence and shaking. Students and teachers are alerted by this signal

  1. Response
    • While the signal is ongoing, the participants move away from windows, glass and unsecured objects imidiately
    • Every participant performs “DROP, COVER, HOLD” under tables, desks or chairs until the “Shaking” signal comes to an end

      Drop, Cover Hold

    • There are many schools where Desks are not available. In this situation, School Bags can be used to protect head.
    • Class Room doors should be kept open preventing it from locking participants inside
    • If outside the school premise, get away from buildings, electricity-wires, trees, light poles and other potential threats. Drop down to your knees and cover your head and neck until the earth-shaking is over.
  1. Evacuation & Assembly
    • As soon as the shaking stops, students are instructed to leave the building in a calm, orderly manner (In one or more lines as per the availability of passage).
    • The in-charges of each class are directed to follow a pre-determined route and to the pre-identified evacuation areas
    • Specially abled students are provided with the special arrangements assisting in their safe evacuation
    • No running is to be allowed to avoid any panic and stampede like situation
    • On stairs, everyone must move in disciplined manner in lines. Overtaking of classes or individuals is restricted.
    • The participants are also alerted for watching out for potential falling objects, if any.
    • Anyone who was not in the class when the class when the Shaking signal went off, must stop and observe the surroundings for potential threat
    • Move immediately towards the designated evacuation point
    • Students should stand according to their Roll Numbers for a roll call at assembly point to make sure that no participant is left in the school building
    • A report is prepared mentioning if any student/ participants is not missing for further action to be taken through Search & Rescue Procedure.

      Search & Rescue Operation

Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

Response Teams: Composition, Roles and Responsibilities

S. No.




School Fire Management Committee (SFMC) Principal/ Vice Principal, Administrator, Teachers (1 Male + 1 Female) and Parent Teacher Association Members, if any (1M + 1 F)


Awareness Campaign Team (ACT) 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school


Fire Alarming Team 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school


Evacuation Team 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school


Search & Rescue Team 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school


Fire Fighting Team 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school


First Aid Team 3-4 teachers or as per the
strength of the school, available Doctor, Nurse. (Local Health Centre Staff should be involved in these drills).


Site Safety Team  4 members well trained in understanding the safety concerns (building, material)


Transport Management Team School Superintendent, 2-3 Teachers and 5-6 Senior Class Students


Media Management Team Any Responsible/ Senior Staff of the School

I hope this article will be helpful for the Schools for conducting Earthquake Drills. Please do write to me for your feedback and any related query.

Be Prepared! Be Safe!


3 thoughts on “Steps for conducting Earthquake Drill in Schools

  1. sammu sai

    Very good article sir ji
    भूकम्प ऐसी परिस्थिति है जिसके आने का कोई पता नहीं ।सब जगह सब को जानकारी ही भूकम्प से होने वाली त्रासदी में कमी ला सकती है।स्कूलों में तो यह जानकारी होना और आवश्यक हो जाती है क्योंकि वहाँ हमारे समाज का वडा़ हिस्सा और भबिष्य होता है।आशा है कि लेख का लाभ स्कूलों के साथ बाकी सबको होगा ।


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