September 27th marked the first day of a new procedure being introduced to
the Perkiomen Valley High School. Safety Week began with a Hold and a Secure drill on
the 27th, a Shelter in Place drill on the 28th, an Evacuation drill on the 29th, and a Lockdown drill
on the 30th.
“The week will give us the opportunity to practice the protocols above so that in the event
of any one of the instances above we (staff and students) know what to expect,” Dr. Moss
Each of the five drills is designed to imitate real-threat situations.
The Hold and Secure drills state that everyone must clear the hallways and stay in their
immediate room or area. After making sure everyone is in attendance, teachers and students will
continue their business as usual until the “All Clear” is announced.
The Shelter drill is a hazard and safety strategy. After accounting for everyone, students
and adults will use the appropriate safety strategy for the hazard. In the event of a tornado,
students and faculty will evacuate to a sheltered area. In the event of a hazmat hazard, the rooms
must be sealed. In the event of an earthquake, people must drop, find secure cover, and hold
where they are.
In an Evacuation drill, students and adults will evacuate to a previously specified
location. Students will follow instructions and leave all items behind, except their phones if
possible. Adults will be leading students to the evacuation sites and taking count of how many
people they are missing.
Finally, in a Lockdown drill, the mantra, Locks, Lights, Out Of Sight will be used.
Students will move away from sight, maintain silence, and not open or approach the door until it
is unlocked by a principal or the police. Faculty and staff will recover any students from the
hallways if possible and then follow through with the Locks, Lights, Out Of Sight procedure.
Adults must also be prepared to defend their classroom or evade a possible attacker.
Typically, evacuation/ fire drills are practiced every month and lockdown drills are
practiced once a year, but the administration believes that everyone should have a healthy
understanding of all five drills.
Dr. Moss states that “Practicing helps us not only know what to do but helps us know
what things we might need to refine or change.”