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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

How Northwood prepares for natural disasters

PLAN+AND+PREPARE%3A+Preparation+and+composure+can+all+make+the+difference+in+the+unexpected+event+of+a+natural+disaster.+
Sophia Ho
PLAN AND PREPARE: Preparation and composure can all make the difference in the unexpected event of a natural disaster.

Stop, drop and roll! Duck and cover! These are phrases that have become ingrained into our brains since elementary school, practiced over and over until they have become muscle memory.

With the deadly floods in Libya, the fires in Hawaii and the earthquakes in Turkey and Afghanistan headlining the news within this past year, combined with Hurricane Hilary recently passing through California, it has become increasingly clear that it is time for California residents to update their emergency-survival inventory to include items and plans that can aid in the case of one of these deadly natural disasters.

Northwood staff has already found ways to implement emergency preparedness into the classrooms, including science and horticulture teacher Beverly Matsuda, who participates in emergency planning that can make the difference between life and death during an emergency situation. 

“On the first day of school I make sure that every student knows about the first aid kit and the emergency evacuation plan,” Matsuda said. “I also make sure to assign three students the task of carrying the room number sign, the emergency backpack and the clipboard that has safety procedures.” 

In the frantic rush to escape an emergency, injuries are common. Along with having first aid kits and preparing evacuation plans, it is critical for students to be prepared to assist or save someone during a crisis. This can include CPR, a primary life saving skill that can be attained by anyone through simple classes provided by healthcare clubs at Northwood such as the Red Cross Club. 

“It’s something so easy to do and I really think everyone should just get certified,” junior Laila Elzahed said. “It’s a skill that can come in handy and it’s really important.”

During these spontaneous situations, adrenaline kicks in and can trigger our “fight, flight or freeze” response, which is why small acts of efficiency and preparedness can make the largest difference. 

“What I tell my students is that the most important thing in those situations is to just remember to breathe and really try to follow that emergency plan,” Matsuda said. 

Northwood, along with other schools throughout the state, will participate in the Great California Shakeout on Oct. 19 to help better prepare students and staff for an emergency. 

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About the Contributors
Raya Abu-Tarif, Staff Writer
Raya is a staff writer for the Northwood Howler. You can always count on her having a book on her and she can usually weave Taylor Swift, Grey’s Anatomy, or Gilmore Girls into any conversation.
Sophia Ho, Graphic Artist
Sophia Ho is a Senior graphic artist with a tendency to slay. As soon as she goes home, she draws silly guys and watches 3-hour video essays on Youtube. You can mention her name at First Class Pizza for 50% off your meal!

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