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St. Mary’s School in Westfield Participates in Great Shakeout Drill


WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Being prepared for the earth to shake in Westfield.

Thursday, St. Mary’s School put students through a drill designed to keep them safe should an earthquake strike western Massachusetts.

“Take cover under something sturdy, protect yourself from objects that could thrown across the room, hold onto your shelter until the shaking stops.”

It’s an unlikely scenario, but students at St. Mary’s are learning what to do if a destructive earthquake were to hit the area.

“They hear about earthquakes. They study earthquakes in weather, so it’s just another way for them to be prepared for something that…who knows might happen,” says Sister Christine Lavoie from St. Mary’s.

Two years ago, an earthquake in Washington, DC was felt throughout New England. It was nothing damaging in our region, but it rattled enough to put earthquake safety on the radar of local schools

Mary Reed, a teacher at St. Mary’s, adds, “I’ve always told the kids it always its important to be prepared for any eventuality, for anything that happens, no matter whether its likely to happen or not, so its very very simple. It’s a ‘Drop, Cover, Hold.’”

The students were instructed to be aware of any possible objects that could fall.

Reed’s class has been studying natural disasters and the drill peaked their interest.

“What if I cant get under? Where should I go? What if I’m outside, what should I do? but it’s good for them to think about those things.”

The drill was followed by an orderly evacuation, which is part of St. Mary’s School’s dedication to be prepared for anything.

The drill was organized by MEMA, with several schools throughout the state taking part in the drill.

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