Are earhquake drills required in schools?

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The short answer is “yes”.  They are required.  They are referred to in the California Education Code as a “drop procedure.”   Private Schools are required to establish procedures.  Public Schools are required to conduct the drop procedure and shall hold them at least once each school quarter in elementary schools and at least once a semester in secondary schools.

Private Schools Only

35296.  The governing board of each private school shall establish an earthquake emergency procedure system in every private school building under its jurisdiction having an occupant capacity of 50 or more pupils or more than one classroom.  A governing board may work with the Office of Emergency Services and the Seismic Safety Commission to develop and establish the earthquake emergency procedure systems.

Public School Systems

35297.  The earthquake emergency procedure system shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(a) A school building disaster plan, ready for implementation at any time, for maintaining the safety and care of students and staffs.

(b) A drop procedure.  As used in this article, “drop procedure”
means an activity whereby each student and staff member takes cover under a table or desk, dropping to his or her knees, with the head protected by the arms, and the back to the windows.  A drop procedure practice shall be held at least once each school quarter in elementary schools and at least once a semester in secondary schools.

(c) Protective measures to be taken before, during, and following an earthquake.
(d) A program to ensure that the students and that both the
certificated and classified staff are aware of, and properly trained in, the earthquake emergency procedure system.

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