18th National earthquake Drill in Schools

13 million students from 120 Primary to High school students held the National earthquake Drill on December 5, 2016 at the same time. Earthquake drill started in the schools by the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Ministry of Interior, Red Crescent and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting for nearly two decades. The main goal of this drill is making the students aware of earthquake risk besides giving them related trainings for sheltering during an earthquake. Based on the feedbacks received from implementing earthquake drills during these years, the organizing committee has decided to develop it into local level. In this new process, the safe schools of each region have acted as the earthquake disaster management headquarters at the local level. So the motto of this year’s drill was “Safe School – Resilience Community.

The community-based earthquake drill has been held in Tehran and other province centers as a pilot study. It will be developed in the next years after evaluating the received feedbacks. This year, some of the schools have been chosen as the safe schools from structural and non-structural points of view. The required trainings have been given to the students of the pilot schools and the local people.

On Earthquake Drill day the students have to take correct sheltering when the Earthquake Safety Alarm was broadcasted from Iran National Radio for one minute. The local people have also come out of their houses and go to the school as the base for local disaster management. They also have participated in the pre-planned affairs in relation to rescue, accommodation, emergency feeding, etc. in the region. The earthquake drill has been held in other schools similar to the previous years with the focus on the students, sheltering and emergency exit.

This drill has been held with coordination of the organizing committee in the pilot schools of Afghanistan and Pakistan with participation of UNESCO.