Guwahati, Thursday, January 03, 2013
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Schools fail to conduct mock disaster drills
 GUWAHATI, Jan 2 – Even after repeated appeals by the authorities, a large number of schools across Assam, including some elite institutions, have failed to carry out emergency fire and earthquake drills to guide their students and staff. Government agencies, including personnel of the Fire Service, have reached out to various schools to emphasise the necessity to have mock drills. But so far many school authorities have failed to co-operate with them to organise such exercises. While most schools have not held emergency drills on a regular basis, there are other schools where students and staff have not taken part in a single drill much to the concern of government agencies.

Mock drills are considered essential to prepare participants to respond to a fire, earthquake or other emergencies. According to experts, such exercises are absolutely vital in schools where little girls and boys spend a large part of their day away from family supervision.

“Holding regular mock drills are essential to educate them to act in a decisive way, instead of panicking in an emergency situation,” said a source in the Fire Service.

He hoped that the school authorities will recognise the importance of holding emergency drills to save precious and innocent lives if and when a situation develops all of a sudden.

The situation in Assam’s capital city is particularly worrying because apart from occupying a seismic zone, many school buildings are quite old and some are located in congested areas.

Fire Services personnel also point out that a number of buildings have very old electrical fittings, and do not have adequate fire fighting equipment or people trained to handle those.

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