Searching for earthquake security at DBHS

In contrast to the situation in Nepal, many students at DBHS do not realize how well the campus is prepared for future quakes.

Victoria Ly, Contributing Writer

Natural disasters striking at Diamond Bar High School are few and far between, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we have more fire and earthquake drills than the actual emergencies themselves. But in light of Nepal’s recent earthquake, of which the death toll has risen to nearly 8,000 and injuries have escalated to more than twice that nu, students at DBHS can take their comfortable situation for granted.

We often forget how lucky we are to attend a school that provides us with such comfort and security—an area where disaster drills are made necessary in our favors and an area where the staff takes great pride in keeping our students safe.

Unlike construction in Third World countries, such as Haiti or Nepal, buildings in the U.S. are made to withstand these natural disasters. But our classrooms, especially, are built beyond that of the earthquake standard. According to Doug Mefford, the operations manager of DBHS, the durability of our building structures can endure up to 7.2 magnitude earthquakes.

Unfortunately, students at DBHS treat fire alarms as a laughing matter and use earthquakes as an excuse to bombard Facebook with status updates. This is a reflection of how lightly we take emergency situations.

Since the last earthquake, which hit DBHS a little over a year ago, administration and custodians have ensured that heavy objects are securely fastened to the walls. Classrooms that were found to have deficiencies were fixed and bookshelves have been mounted to the walls to ensure that nothing falls over.

As students go about their school day, they are unaware of how much work is put into their safety. Though it goes unnoticed, DBHS is well prepared for emergency situations. Search and rescue teams were already formed before the school year started. The school also has designated areas for each teacher, student and staff member. Locations of emergency triages are predetermined and just about each and every staff member on campus has a job in place whether it be an evacuation, a lockdown, or an earthquake.

We take for granted of how prepared the DBHS campus is for a natural disaster. I would much rather be at school during an earthquake, where there is a set, structured plan in place to keep me safe rather than at home where I would be confused, lost, and maybe even alone. Of course, unexpected and large-scale emergency situations bring about uncertain outcomes. And it is inevitable that injuries will occur, but in the end, the school’s main goal is to reunite each and every student with their family and keep them safe until they do so.