worst. earthquake drill. ever.

I woke up with a serious case of the lazies. Even though I had a test today and had planned to go into the library and study, I felt a little too much like I’d been hit by a bus and stayed in bed till 11. Ok, having been hit by a bus, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, and maybe it had something to do with having run the Halloween China Hash the day before, followed by fancy-dress Down-Downs and quite a lot of beer.

Anyway, the Gods of Laziness were apparently smiling upon me today, as I rolled up to class, breezed through the test and finished early — meaning I could go sit in the corridor instead of sitting in class, which despite being less comfortable somehow holds SO MUCH MORE APPEAL. Then we had break, and our teacher didn’t come back till 1:20, to announce that due to the two earthquakes this weekend, we would be having an EARTHQUAKE DRILL. Ever the class keener, I yelled out “萬歲!萬歲!” which is the Chinese equivalent of Hurrah! and which we learned last week — thus simultaneously exposing myself as both a first-class Hermione AND a slacker.

What I had in mind:

We were told that there would be an announcement at 1:30, and that upon hearing it, we should then walk down the stairs and wait outside. Furthermore, we were to take our bags and valuables with us, to prevent anything from being stolen. The two Japanese girls in our class made suitably startled noises and we all debated at great length as to how this had anything to do with earthquake safety — no hiding under tables or in doorways, no covering up of faces… and of course NEVER LEAVE WITHOUT ALL YOUR VALUABLES (ok, that last point is unfair).

1:30 came and went without any announcement or sirens, bells or other disturbances. Eventually we heard hurried footsteps running down the corridor and one of the women from the office burst through our door: “EARTHQUAKE DRILL! EVERYONE OUTSIDE!”… and so off we went.

The experience continued to grow in hilarity as we found ourselves vaguely directed by bored students carrying arrows on cardboard signs. Unfortunately one particularly bored student was looking at his iPhone and failed to notice that the flow of students was ignoring his sign and heading towards the 7-11 instead of down the hill to the evacuation point. Even more unfortunately, he resumed his duties just in time to prevent my class from enjoying the charms of the 7-11 and we had to go wait in the courtyard for 30 minutes, where not even the slightest courtesy was paid to formal procedures. No head-counts, no standing in line (again, the Japanese girls were shocked), and eventually we hauled ourselves back up the hill and the stairs just in time for break again.

I’d like to say that I now feel safe and well prepared for an earthquake disaster but actually I am just really glad I had my iPad to distract me whilst we were waiting. Next time, I’m staying under the table…

EDIT: Just as I published this we had Earthquake #3 of the last 3 days… an earthquake a day eh?

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3 thoughts on “worst. earthquake drill. ever.

  1. I love drills. The fire drills at my work are something to behold. There is some workplace health and safety requirement or another that mandates a certain number of fire drills to be held without any warning to the students. This is to, naturally, ensure that we can ascertain the effectiveness of our procedures and report back on the same to the powers that be higher up the chain of command.

    Of course, human nature being what it is, if something has to be reported back on then we are going to make sure we get he best result, by golly. Therefore, there (mental note: too many “theres”) is a two week warning of an impending fire drill (including date and precise time), a one week warning, a two day warning and a warning on the morning.

    It should come as no surprise that our procedures are considered to be world’s best practice. Whether or not the students would survive the real thing if neither here nor there. Who cares about safety when there is a tick in a box to be had. 🙂

    Reply

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