Earthquake Shakes School

Earthquakes awaken a lack of emergency procedure in Hockaday protocol.

The ground shook 11 times in less than 27 hours on Jan. 7 as a series of earthquakes disrupted the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The earthquake occuring at 3:10 p.m. was the most widely witnessed at Hockaday.

Junior Jasionna Terry was sitting in the hallway when the earthquake occurred. “It did not scare me, but it was unexpected; out of nowhere the floor started shaking,” Terry said.

Within a few minutes, stu­dents and teachers began ask­ing questions about the cause of these unusual happenings. Dr. Marshall Bartlett, head of the science department, provided a session to provide answers.

“Right now, it’s unclear as to why [the earthquakes are] moving eastward as well—that doesn’t follow the oil and gas de­velopment lines,” Bartlett said.

The arrival of these numer­ous earthquakes, ranging up to a 3.6 magnitude, revealed a hole in the Hockaday Security Sys­tem. Director of Safety and Se­curity Karyn McCoy contacted the Emergency Management Department in Dallas and re­ceived a draft of earthquake plans. “Texas is not experienced with earthquakes. We need to inform ourselves,” McCoy said.

Since Nov. 1, 2014 over 26 earthquakes have occurred in Irving, according to CBS News. These earthquakes are only cre­ating minimal damage. Hocka­day receptionist Elsa Vela ex­perienced frustrating damage from the Jan. 7 earthquake.

“In the kitchen, the ceiling has slightly moved where you can see cracks and the floor in one of the rooms has cracked,” Vera said. “I called [the insur­ance provider] right away be­cause I noticed damage.”

Vela spoke with a handful of insurance providers, who stated that they currently offered no earthquake coverage in Texas. These insurance providers ex­plained they would need more information on the cause and extensity of these earthquakes to add coverage to policies.

Southern Methodist Uni­versity has placed 22 seismom­eters in the Irving area with hopes of getting new data on the cause of Texas earth­quakes as they occur. At press time findings showed that at the center of recent earth­quakes, there is a two-mile fault stretching from Irving to West Dallas.

The Hockaday Security Department plans to get in­formation to the advisories regarding earthquake proce­dure. McCoy explained that the most important part of staying safe during an earthquake is remaining calm.

The Texas Department of Public Safety recommends get­ting under a sturdy table and holding onto the table legs. If in a car, the Texas Department of Public Safety suggests find­ing a clear spot to stop and wait until the shaking ceases. More earthquake information, alerts and notifications can be found on the American Red Cross Earthquake App.

– Austria Arnold, Asst. Features Editor