Mississippi Coast participates in earthquake drill

Today students across the Coast participated in the annual Great Shakeout drills to learn how to stay safe during a natural disaster.

The students at Ocean Springs Middle School worked hard in the classroom until they heard the announcement that had them sheltering for cover.

Thankfully, this announcement was just for the safety drill known as the annual Shakeout. This drill is held each year to teach people in schools, workplaces, and homes worldwide about how to handle themselves during an earthquake.  OSMS Assistant Principal Nikeland Cooper said, “We just want to make sure our students are well aware of how to be safe when incidents like this happen like natural disasters.”

Students are taught to drop down and get under something sturdy to protect themselves from anything falling on top of them during an earthquake. Seventh grader Chris Williams said, “It’s really important to practice those because you never know what could happen. It could come out of the blue and you don’t know what to do if you’ve never practiced it before.”

Seventh grader Lela Goff said, “We can be safe and just make sure that like all students are safe whenever they are in an Earthquake so that they know what to do.”

As of October 21st, about 31 million people are participating in the shakeout drills. Of those 31 million, about 346,000 are Mississippi residents. “It’s a lot of schools that are registered for this drill, and we just wanted to be one in the number and make sure that our students when they leave Ocean Springs Middle School and go to high school and become productive citizens of society no matter where they are, they are always prepared.”

While earthquakes are rare down here, they are not impossible. Like other parts of the state, South Mississippi does sit on a fault line. In 2015, an earthquake hit the small town of Gluckstadt, Mississippi. “This is my third year doing the shakeout drill down here in Ocean Springs Middle but I’m sure that this drill has been going on for many years and we will still participate each year going forward.”

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