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SAN JOSE, CA – On Thursday, October 20, at 10:20 a.m., more than 225,000 thousand students in Santa Clara County will be participating in the "Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills," designed to prepare everyone for such an event. More than 10 million students in California alone will take part in this nationwide event. While the vast majority of these students will follow the "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" protocols, many students with special needs, particularly those in wheelchairs, will practice a slight variation, "Lock, Cover, and Hold On."
The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) serves more than a thousand students with special needs at 64 sites across the county. On the day of the drill, students at the Anne Darling School site will follow the protocols found at www.earthquakecountry.org/disability. These call for students and staff to get as low as possible, move away from windows or other items that can fall over, lock their wheelchairs or other devices and not try to transfer from them until the shaking stops, and to protect their head and neck with their arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
"Many of us think of these as standard drills and may not ever think about students who may be limited in their movement, hearing, sight, cognitive function, or have other disabilities," said Norma Del Rio, Director of Special Education for the SCCOE. "We have to be more prepared than others and this drill will help us experience our planning in a real-time situation."
The Anne Darling School is at 1550 Marburg Way, San Jose, CA, 95133 (located in the San Jose Unified School District). News media interested in covering the event are encouraged to arrive by 10 a.m.
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