The recovery of schools from earthquake effects

Citation
The recovery of schools from earthquake effects

Material Information

Title:
The recovery of schools from earthquake effects
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Creator:
Gratton, Vivian G
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Institute of Behavioral Science
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
20 p. : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Schools -- Safety measures -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Emergency management -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Buildings -- Earthquake effects -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Earthquakes -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 19-20).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library's disaster mental health initiative.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Subtitle on p. 1: Lessons from Mexico City.
General Note:
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."
Statement of Responsibility:
Vivian Gratton ... [et al.].

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
001985203 ( ALEPH )
39047320 ( OCLC )
F57-00030 ( USFLDC DOI )
f57.30 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Added automatically
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HAZARD. HOUSE

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NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterCampusBox482UniversityofColoradoBoulder,Colorado80309-0482 -:',-'.JiAZARD HOUSECOPyTHERECOVERYOFSCHOOLSFROMEARTHQUAKEEFFECTSVivian Gratton HerbertD.ThierElia ArjonillaRosaMelgar1986QuickResponseResearch Report#09 f"i' This publication is partofthe Natural Hazards Research&Applications Information Center'songoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http://www.colorado.edu/hazards ,;.,", InstituteofBehavioralScience #6 (303)492-6818

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TheRecoveryofSchoolsfromEarthquakeEffectsLessonsfromMexicocityIntroductionThereishardlyaschoolwhichdoesnothavesomeformofdisasterpreparednesstraining.Themajorityofthistraininghasbeentargetedatpreventinginjuryduringfires.sometimesstudentsandstaffhavereceivedpreparation,suchasfirstaidtraining,forsurvivingtheinitialeffectsofthedisaster.Veryrarelyhavetherebeenanyexercisestargetedatrecoveringfromadisaster.(1)Appropriately,preservationofphysicalwell-beinghasbeenthefirstaimofschooldisasterpreparednessprograms.Manyliveshavebeensavedandinjuriespreventedatschoolandathomebytheextensivefiredrillprogramsintheunitedstates.unfortunately,withtheexceptionoffiresafety,littledisasterpreparationtakesplaceinschoolsintheunitedstates.Manyteachers,parentsandadministratorshaverecognizedthattheseprogramsarenotenoughparticularlyinlocalitieswherelargenaturaldisasters,suchasearthquakesandfloodsmayoccur.Whilethisconcernhasbeenprimarilyfocusedonhazardmitigationandthedevelopmentofimmediateresponseemergencyprepar-ednessprograms,interesthasrecentlybeenrisinginlongtermrecovery.CALEEPwasrecentlyaskedtomakeapresentationtosuperintendentsofsouthernCaliforniaschooldistrictswhohavebeguntowonderwhattheywilldoafteraseriousearthquake.TherecentMexicoCityearthquakeandthereSUltingdamagetoschoolscausedtheseschooladministatorstoconsiderhowtheywillcope1

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withthelongtermstressputontheoperationalandsocialsystemsof schools.Fortunately,thehighdegreeofstructuralsafetybuiltintoCaliforniapublicschoolsasaresultoftheFieldAct(2)greatlyreducesthepossibilityofcalamitousbuildingfailures;nevertheless,nonstructuraldamagecanbecostly.DamagetoschoolsintheCaliforniaCentralValleycityofCoalingafromthe1983earthquake(6.5ontheRichterscale)wasestimatedat$2.3million,orapproximately$1000perstudent!Schoolswerestillawaitingplumbingrepairsmanymonthsafterthequake(3).AnextrapolationofthisdamagefiguretoschooldistrictsthesizeofLosAngeles,orevenFresno,isenoughtofrightenanyadministratororschoolboardmemberinadisaster-pronearea.AnumberofMexicoCityschoolssufferedsignificantdamageintheSeptember19and20,1985earthquakes.Approximately760schoolsweredamaged,and20-25collapsedcompletely.Fortunately,fewschoolswereinsessionwhentheshakingoccurred;however,schoolcommunitieswerestronglyaffectedbythedamagetobothphysicalandsocialstructures.ColegioMadrid,aschoolof3000inthesouthofthecitywasseverelydamaged,withthemiddleschoolandhighschool(secundariaandprepatoria)buildingsrenderedunusableuntilmajorrepairsweremade.onlythekindergarten,elementaryschoolandauxilIarybuildingswerelefttoaccomodatetheentireschoolcommunity.Thestoryofhowthisschoolhasrespondedtotheeffectsoftheearthquakeisalessoninworkability--whatneedstohappentomeetacommitment--inthiscaseacommitmenttoqualityeducationandsafetyfortoall 2

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whostudyandworkattheschool.TheactionsofColegioMadridcannotbeexactlyduplicatedatotherschools,forthemeans by which.a school respondstocrisisreflectsitsownparticularoperationalorganization.Nevertheless,thislessoninworkabilityretainsitsapplicability.ColegioMadridprovidesanexampleofhow aschoolcommunitymayclearlydefineitspurposeandprioritiesandworkcollectivelytomeetthesegoals.Theinsightsgainedinsuchastudyreachbeyondearthquakesanddisasterstotouchuponthestructureofeducationalinstitutionsandprograms.colegio Madrid TheCaliforniaEarthquakeEducationProject(CALEEP)(4)visitedColegioMadridthreetimes--November1985,andJanuaryandFebruary1986.TheseinvestigationsweresupportedbyaNationalScienceFoundationQuickResponseMinigrant(5),andbyaspecialappropriationfromtheCaliforniaStateSeismicSafetyCommission(6).Physicalandoperationalchanges,madeinresponsetotheearthquakeofSeptember19,1985wereidentifiedthroughdirectobservationandinterviewswithadministrators,faculty,parentsandstudents.(5)Intheprocessofcarryingouttheseinterviewsandobservations,muchwaslearnedoftheunderlyingstructureoftheschoolanditsmethodsofcommunicationanddecision-making.Thisbasicstructureprovidesacontextfortheinterpretationofthechoicesmadebytheschoolcommunityinresponsetotheeffectsoftheearthquake.ColegioMadridisaprivateschool,asaremanyschoolsinMexicoCity.Begunin1941byexilesfromtheSpanishCivilWar,3

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theschooloperatesasan"extendedfamily,"servingstudentsfrombothMexicanandspanishbackgrounds.(7)Thestudentbodyisprimarilyuppermiddle-class,andmostgraduatesgoontouniversitystudies.Becausemanystudentsremainwiththeschoolfrompre-schooltohighschool,andalumniareofteninvolvedwiththeschoolasparents,teachersandadvisors,thereisatremendoussenseofcommunityandcontinuityattheschool.Thisallegianceextendstomembersofthecustodialstaff,someofwhomhavebeenwiththeschoolforthirtyyears.Theschoolisadministeredbyageneraldirector,ChristinaBarros,whoisadvisedbyaboardofgovernors(JuntadeGobierno),whichrepresentsageneralassembly.UnderSra.Barrosaredirectorsofeachofthefourschools:kindergarten(ages2-6),primaryschool,middleschoolandhighschool.Thesedirectorshaveconsiderableautonomyinthemanagementoftheindividualschools;theyareresponsibleforcurriculum,forhiringandfiring,andforrelationswithparentsandtheeducationauthorities.Inadditiontoacademicdirectors,thereisabusinessmanagerandafacilitiesandpersonnelmanagerforthewholeschool.Priortotheearthquaketheschoolcommunityenjoyedamplefacilitiesatitsnew(1979)campus.Eachofthefourschoolsoccupiedit'sownbuilding,separatedfromtheothersbyfences;therewasalsoanaUditorium,andadministrationandlibrarybuilding,sportsfacilitiesandshops.Particularlystrikingamongobservationsofschoollifeisthehighdegreeofequityamongstudents,andmembersofthecustodial,academicandadministrativestaffs.Thereareno4

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reservedparkingspacesforteachersordirectors.studentsaretaughttotreatthecustodianswithrespectandcourtesy.Highschoolstudentsfrequenttheadministrationbuilding;thesestudentsarenotbeing"senttotheprincipal,"butaresimplycomingintochatorshareacupofcoffeewithanadministrativestaff member! Thisopennessandequity,thatsetsColegioMadridapartfrommanyofitscontemporaries,providessomeinsightintothewaythattheschoolrespondedtotheeffectsoftheearthquakeofseptember1985.ResponsetotheEarthquakeTheearthquakethatstruckMexicoCityat7:19a.m.onSeptember19,1985seemedlikeasmalltremortomostColegioMadridstudents,stillathome,oronthewaytoschool.Forthoseattheschoolsite,theexperiencewasmuchdifferent.Oneclasswasinsessiononthesecondfloorofthehighschoolbuilding.Moststudentsinthisclassreportedthattheyhad,undertheteacher'sdirection,stayedintheroom,buthad,againbyteachersuggestion,lefttheroombeforetheshakingwasover.Twostudentsdidnotstayintheroom.Theyreported:"Wedidn'tobeytheteacherwhenhesaidtoremainintheroom.Weranthroughtthehallwayandreachedthestairs.ItwasdifficulttodecideWhethertoenterintothemornot,becauseofthenoisetheymadestrikingthebuilding.Finallywestartedtodescend,butitwasverydifficultbecausetheshakingwouldsendusfromonebalustradetoanother.Oneofusevenfelldowninthemiddleofthestairs.".."(8)Otherstudentsrecountedtheirexperienceleavingthebuilding:"When werealizedthatthequakewaslongerandstrongerthananythingwehadfeltbeforewetriedtogetoutside,butitwastoolate.Welostsomemoretimewhenoneofourclassmatesblockedthedoor,andbesides,bythattime,themovementsofthebuildingdidn'tletuswalk.Thenwetriedtoreachorgetclose5

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tothecolumns--astheteachersaid--andthereweembracedeachother."Considerablepanic,andverylikely,injuries,wouldhaveariseniftheearthquakehadoccurredwhentheschoolwasfullyoccupied.Therehadbeennotrainingofstudentsorstaffmembersinresponsetoearthquakesorfires.ColegioMadridwasfortunatebecauseroadsandotherlife-linessurroundingtheschoolwerenotsignificantlydamaged.Noonewastrappedattheschoolanddependentonitforwater,firstaid,andfood,forwhichnoprovisionshadbeenmade.Mostschoolpreparednessprogramsonlyconsidersurvivalduringtheearthquakeitselfandenduranceofpossibleisolationfrompublicservicesforabriefperiodoftime.ColegioMadridfortunatelybypassedthepotentialconsequencesofitslackofpreparednessinthesetwoareas.Eitherbysuchgoodfortune,orbygoodpreparation,anotherschoolmayfinditselfinasimilarsituationafteranearthquakegladtohavesurvivedtheshakingwithnolossoflifeorseriousinjury,andoverwhelmedwiththejobofrecoverythatloomsahead.Thefollowingaccountdetailssomeofthedecisionsandactionsinvolvedinthereco-veryofColegioMadridfromtheearthquake'seffects.Thisaccountisnotacompendiumofproblemstobeaddressedinrecovery;ratheritisastudyoftheprocessofdecision-makingandaction-takingbyaschoolcommunityinresponsetothephysicalandsocialupsetofanearthquake.InstUdyingtherecoveryofColegioMadridfromtheearthquake'seffects,itisimportanttobringtomindotherpossibilitiesthatexistedfordecisonmakers,andtoconsiderhowthesealternativeswouldhavechanged6

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therecoverypathofthisschool.ThetasksthatColegioMadridfacedonSeptember19included:remodelingoftheschoolsothatclassescouldresumeasquicklyaspossible,repairofdamagedbuildings,reinforcementofundamagedbuildings,andcopingwiththefearandanxietyexperiencedbystaff,students,administrationandparents.Secondary tothe difficultiesinvolvedinremodelingandrepairwere the changes to schoolorganizationandsocialinteraction that resultedfromchangesinuseofspaceandfacilities atthe school.Forinstance,privateconversationsbecamemuchmoredifficult,andbathroomfacilitiesbecameheavilytaxed.Inaddressingtheseproblemsanumberoffactorscameintoplay,andprioritiesbegan to appearastrade-offsweremade.Importantfactorsthatinfluenceddecisions,directlyorindirectly,included:safetyofallthoseattheschoolexpedienceofreturningtocourseworkpsychologicalwell-beingofthecommunitycommitmenttonon-hierarchicaldecision-makingcostofrepairsandsafetymeasurespersonalagendasofdecision-makerstechnicalknowledgeexpectationofexternalaidexpectedcontributionsfromwithinthecommunity.Immediatelyfollowingtheearthquaketheschoolwasinspectedbyengineersandarchitects,whodeterminedthatthehighschoolandmiddleschoolrequiredmajorrepairsandthatthe7

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primaryschoolneededminorworkbeforetheywouldbesafeforoccupancy.1400ofthe3000studentsweredisplacedandalllaboratoryfacilitieswerelost.Severaloptionswereavailable:rentbuildingsoffcampustoholdclasses,remodelbuildingssothatclassescouldcontinueoncampus,oroffertwoschoolsessions,oneinthemorningandoneintheafternoon.Thesechoicesweresetbeforetheacademic,administrativeandcustodialstaffsatameetingheldonSeptember24,fivedaysaftertheearthquake.Participantswereaskedwhichchoicetheypreferred,andiftherewereotherpossibilitiesthatmightbeconsidered.Theoverwhelmingresponsewastoremainoncampus,andtoremodelfacilitiessothatallstudentscouldbeinschoolatthesametime.Anumberofindividualscommentedontheimportanceofthismeeting.ThesacrificesthatwouldhavetobemadeinordertocontinueallclassesatcolegioMadridwerenotsmall,anditwasimportantthatthedecisiontomakethosesacrificescamefromstaffmembers.Parentsofstudentsmetthefollowingday.Presentationsbyengineerswerereassuring,and,yet,uponseeingthedamagetothe manywereconcernedforthesafetyoftheirchildren.Twocommitteesaroseoutofthismeeting:atechnicalcommitteecomposedofengineersandarchitectswhowouldfollowtherepairandreinforcementprogress,andasafetycommittee,composedofsociologistsandhealthworkers,whowouldhelpwithboththepsychologicalrecoveryofthecommunityandwithimprovingschoolsafetyandpreparedness.Inaddition,familiesofferedtocontributefinanciallytothecostofrepairwork.Conflict,aswellassupportaroseatthismeeting.Therewere8

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someparentsandteacherswhodidnothaveconfidenceintheinformationpresentedbytheadministration--regardlessofthefactthattheadministrators,too,hadchildrenattheschool.Thisconflictseemedtoariseoutofaneedtofindsomeoneculpableforthepotentialdangerthatthechildrenhadfortunatelyescaped--andasensethatasparentstheywereresponsibleformakingsurethattheirchildrenweresafeatschool.Noonepreventedtheirchildrenfromattendingschoolforthisreason,butthisconflictpersistedandconsumedmuchenergyofteachers,studentsandadministrators,astheybecameinvolvedinthis"politicalproblem."Therenewedinvolvementofparentsintheschoolasaresultoftheearthquakeprovidedcriticalsupport--whichhadstringsattached.Alongwiththeconcernthatengenderedsupportwastheconcernthatbroughtconflict;bothwereexpressionsofparents'takingresponsibilityfortheirchildren'ssafety.ImmediatelyfollowingthesemeetingsworkbeganonpreparingtheschooltoopenonOctober7.Custodiansandolderstudentscontributedmanyextrahoursincleaningdamagedrooms,partitioningclassrooms,lobbies,andlibraries,andmovingequipment,furnitureandsupplies.Eventhebreezewaysoutsideoftheprimaryschoolandkindergartenwereutilized.Theseareaswereboardedofftoformclassroomsandteachers'lounges.Custodiansandteachersdonatedtheirlunchroomstothestudents.Administrativestaffsharedoffices,andelectiveclassesandlabclassesweremovedoutside.Theprimaryschoolwasrepairedsothatitwouldmeetsafetystandards.Severalaluminumtemporary9

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buildingswereboughtandinstalled.Finally,threeweeksafterthequake,theseeminglyimpossibletaskofdoublingthecapacityofusablebuildingswasaccomplishedandstudentsreturnedtoschool.RecoveryTheworkofaccomodatingdisplacedstudentswasfarfromcomplete.Immediatelyconcernswerevoiced.Itseemedthateverysolutionbroughtnewproblems.Thepartitionsinthelibrarywhichallowedforadditionalclassroomsalsoobstructedexitroutes.Sometemporaryclassroomsweresolargethatcurtainshadtobehungtoreducesoundloss.Custodianswerekeptbusyopeningupextradoors,cuttingawaythefencesthatpreviouslyseparatedthedifferentschools,andpaintingexitandevacuationpathsthroughouttheschoolgrounds.Theparents'SafetyCommit-teewasintegralinenactingthesechanges.custodial,academicandadministrativestaffandstudentsbroughttheirconcernsandsuggestionstothecommittee,twomembersofWhich,RosaMelgarandEliaArjonilla,werealwaysoncampus.Thiscommitteehadprepareditselftoevaluatesafetyneedsandmakerecommendationsbyattendingconferencesonschoolsafety,consultingwithspe-cialistsinpsychology,education,physics,engineeringandseis-mology.Therecommendationsthatthey made totheadministrationwerequicklyaddressed.Onatourwiththecommitteeonthefirstdayofathree-dayvisit,itbecameapparentthatanextraexitwasneededatthebackoftheaUditorium.Plansforthisdoorwerealreadyinprogresstwodayslater.Becauseofthetimeframeforrepairofthetwodamaged10

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buildingsisapproximatelytwoyears,ColegioMadridmustcontinuetocopewiththeeffectsoftheearthquakewhenmanyothersinless-damagedareashaveletthememoryofSeptember19recede.Astimepassestheinconvenienceoftemporarymeasuresbecomesburdensome.ThebreezewayclassroomswereabandonedbytheFeb-ruary1986visit;facultyandstudentspreferredthenoiseofsharingaclassroomoverthecoldoftheboarded-inclassrooms.Thelackofahomefortheseniorstudentswasalsobecomingasorespot,andplansarebeingmadeforspecialprogramsforthesestudentstohelpthembuildunityinspiteofthedispersaloftheirclassroomsandsocialgatheringplaces.Theeffortsofphysicalrecoveryfromtheearthquake'seffectscouldeasilyconsumethetotaltimeandenergyofstaffandvolunteercommittees.However,itwasnotenoughfortheschooltoreturntoitspreviousstate;awarenessoftheriskoffutureearthquakesandotherdisastershadincreased.OneoftheprimaryobjectivesoftheSafetycommitteewastoimprovetheschool'spreparednessforaftershocksandfutureearthquakes.MelgarandArjonillareportedthatthistask,seeminglyasimplecopyingofotherschools'programs,provedtobemoredifficultthanorigi-nallythought.AnumberoffactorswhichwereuniquetotheMexicocityearthquakeandtheschoolcameintoplay,amongwhichwere:theabsenceofsafetyplansintheschoolsorinthecityingeneralthefrightenedstateofstudentswhocontinuedtoexperiencethedisasterviatelevision,stories,andpersonalexperiencesinassistingwithrescueandaidtheerroneouslistingofColegioMadridinthenewspaperasone of thebuildingstobedemolished11

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a"politicalproblem"whichinvolvedmanyoftheseniorstudentsandreachedaclimaxwhenoneteacherwasfired.ItwascleartoMelgarandArjonillathatsomethingmorethattheduplicationofanotherschool'sprocedureswasnecessary.(IO)ThesafetyCommitteequicklydevelopedanemergencyresponseplanfortheschool,employingknowledgegainedintheirstudies,theirconsultationswithspecialists,andtheirexperienceasprofessionalsociologists.AmajorityofthestudentshadbeentrainedbyOctober29,whenanoticeableaftershockstruck.ThisaftershockprovidedarealtestoftheefficacyoftheworkoftheSafetyCommittee.Atthetimeoftheaftershock,manyteacherswereoutoftheclassroomattendingameetingrelatedtothepoliticalconflict.Nevertheless,studentsquicklyevacuatedtothesoccerfield,andwaitedthereasstaffmemberscarriedoutasearchofbuildings,andwordwasgiventhatitwassafetoreturnto the classrooms.Thisevent,whichhadthepotentialtoincreasethefearofparents,studentsandteachers,insteadresultedinreassuranceofthesafetyofchildrenattheschool.MelgarandArjonillatoldoftheparents'response:"Becauseofthehourofthedaymanyparentswerestillattheschoolcafeteria,orattheirhomesclosetoschool,andquicklycameintoseewhathadhappened.Buttheminutethysawtheirchildrentheydidn'teventrytogetclosetothem,muchlesstotakethemhomeNoneofthechildrenaskedtobesenthome.Oneofthemotherssaid,'I'dratherstayherethangobackwhereIlive!'"(II)Thisincreasedconcernforsafetyhasbeeninstitutiona-lized.Custodiansnowhaveresponsibilityfortheupkeepofexitroutesandmarkers,anumberofhighschoolstudentsandteachershavereceivedfirstaidtraining,andemergencyinstructionshave 12

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beenpostedthroughouttheschoolforvisitors.Mostimportantly, drillshavebecomearegularpracticeatthisschoolwhichhadnothadanypreparationfordisastersprevioustotheearthquake.CarmelitaPaz,facilitiesmanager,notedthatthecampusisnotonlybetterpreparedforearthquakes,butalsoforfiresandmorecommonaccidentsandinjuries.PsychologicalRecoveryTheadministrationofColegioMadridwasquicktorespondtothehumanneedsforrecoveryfromtheeffectsoftheearthquake.Thecommunitywasnotonlyaffectedbydamagetotheschool,butalsobytheirexperiencesoftheearthquakeoutsidetheschool.Althoughfewhadlostfamilymemberstothequake,manywereactivein the earthquakereliefefforts.Manyoftheolderstudentshelpedintherescueefforts,experiencingtheirfirstrealconfrontationwithdeath.Othershelpedwiththeencampmentsofhomeless.Suppliesoffood,clothing,firstaid,etc.,werecollectedattheschoolanddistributedbyjuniorhighandhighschoolstudentsandteachers.Onestudentreportedofhisexperienceinthesevolunteerbrigades,"Irememberthatafterthefirst"brigade"(assistancetothehomeless),theonlythingthatIcouldsaywasthatanyonewhowouldgoandseethesituationwouldnotbeabletocontinuetoignoretheproblem."(12)Youngstudentswerealsoverymuchaffectedbytheexperienceoftheearthquake.Childrensawthatadultswerenotabletocontroltheearthquakeoritseffects.Formanythiswasthefirsttimethattheyhadseenthatparentsandteacherswerenotcapa-13

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bleofprotectingthemcompletely.Thiswasafirstforteachers,too,whorecoqnizedtheweightoftheirresponsibilityforchildrenintheircharge.Thesepsychologicalneedswereaddressedina ofways.Duringameetingsoonafterthetemblor,aseismologistandapsychologistaddressedand wc:ked withtheteachers.Theseismologistdiscussedtheearthquake,itscausesandeffects,andansweredquestionsaboutwhyColegioMadridandMexicoCityhadsufferedastheydid.Thepsychologistspokeofhowtheearthquakemayaffectchildrens'behaviorandthensplitthegroupintopairs,sothatteacherscoulddiscusstheirownfearsabouttheearthquake.MaElenaGonzalez,kindergartendirector,saidthatthisopportunityforteacherstoexpresstheirownfearswasveryimportant,aswastheprofessionaladviceonhandlingthestudents.Notsurprisingly,thegreatestfearexpressedwasthattheteacherswouldnotbeabletodealwiththeirstudents'anxiety.Throughdiscussinghowtocopewiththisanxietytheteachersandcounselorsdecidedthatchildrenshouldbeallowedtotalkabouttheearthquakeasmuchastheyneededto.Further,theabilityofchildrentohelpeachotherrecoverfromtheearthquakewasrespected.LauraHueramo,directoroftheprimary,toldofhowchildrenatplaywouldbuildstructuresand"makeearthquakes."ThesegameswerenolongerbeingplayedinJanuary.AlsoworkingtorelievefearwerethevisitsoftheSafetyCommitteetoeachclassroomtospeakwiththechildrenaboutearthquakesaswellastogiveinstructiononemergencydrillsandsafetyinthehome.Schoolcounselorsfoundthemselvesbusierthanever.14

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EduardoRobledo,counselorfor high schoolstudentsnotedthatthereismuch conflictwithauthoritysincethe andthatthisconflicthasaffectedattentionintheclassroom.Speakingofthisconflict,particularlyasitrelatedtothe"politicalconflict,"heexplains:"Theadolescentstudentshaveusedthepoliticalproblemasapretexttoevadetheconfrontingofarealitywhichisevenmoredif=icultthantheshakingoftheearthquake.Thisrealityistheconfrontationwithdeath--inaveryviolentmannerpresentedtothestudentsatatimeinwhichtheyarequestioningwhotheyare,whattodoinlife,andwhetheritisbettertoworkhardortoliveeasily.Thesequestionsarejoinedwiththetotalexperiencethatthedisasteroftheearthquakerepresented.Hence,thepoliticaldiscussionanddispute gave themtheopportunitytooccupythemselvesinanotherthingandnottoreflectandresolvetheirexistentialcrisis:Ishardworkofvalue?Whystudy?etc."(13)Thesestudentscannotreturntothetrustinauthoritythattheyoungerstudentshavereassumed.Theearthquakehadanirrevocableeffectontheattitudesofstudentsandstaff,anditisnosurprisethatthiseffectontheindividualswithintheschoolcommunitycausesconflictsthatdemandchange.Itwillbeinte-restingtoseewhetherthesechangesremainpermanentasthenewsteelrodsinthebuildings,orareonlyastemporaryasthewoodenpartitions.SummaryThisbriefaccountofrecoveryonlybeginstoaddressthemanychangesmadeatColegioMadridtoadapttotheeffects,physical,socialandpsychological,oftheearthquake.NotexplicitintheaccountistheattitUdeofmembersoftheschoolcommunity.Thereisaremarkableexpressionof"lovefortheschool"amongthestudentsandentirestaff.Therewasnodoubt15

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thattheschoolwouldrecoverfromthedisasterstrongerthanever.Itiscommonforgroupstofeelastrongersenseofunityimmediatelyafteradisaster.(14,15)Thisunityrarelyextendsbeyondtheinitialresponseperiod,atwhichtimerelationsreturntonormal.This"lovefortheschool"appearstobethenormalstateatColegioMadrid,asitpersistsmanymonthsafterthedisasteroccurred,andwasnotedbyteachersasoneofthecharacteristicsthatbroughtthemtotheschool.Thisisnottosaythatanxietyandimpatiencedonotarise;therecontinuestobeconflictoverthesafetyofbuildingsinuse.Itisnoteworthythattheschooladministrationdidnothidetheseconflictsfromresearchersbyrestrictingaccesstoindividualsordocuments.Teachersanddirectorsoftencommentedthattheschoolwasstrengthenedbythewayinwhichitmetthecrisis,notmerelyinitssurvivaloftheearthquake.LauraFronjosa,directorofthehighschool,explained,"Youdefineyourselfintheprocessofdealingwithcrisis.Acrisisflushesouttheconflictsthatliehiddenorsimmeringduringnormaltimes."Thisstrongsenseofcommunitywasreflectedintheattitudesofstaffmembers.Forexample,CarmelitaPaz,facilitiesmanager,notesthechangeamongthecustodians:"Beforenoonedidthejoboftheabsentperson;nowallpitchin."Theschoolhasnotjustweatheredthestorm,buthasuseditsimpetustomakesignificantsocialaswellasphysicalchanges.ChristinaBarroscommentedthatbarriersbetweenthestudentshavefallenawaywiththedismantlingoffencesandthesharingofclassrooms,andthatacommitmenthasbeenmadetofindwaystoretainthestrengthenedsenseofcommunitythroughsuchvenuesasspecialeventsanda16

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schoolmagazine.Conflict nottheonlythingthatsurfacedwiththeEarth'stremors.Loveoftheschoolandcommitment,thatwerenotpreviouslyrecognizedorexpressed,appearedaswell.ChristinaBarroscommentedthatbeforetheearthquakesheassumedthesupportoftheschoolcommunity;nowsheisassuredofit.InthecaseofColegioMadrid,thissupportoftheschoolwasstrongenoughforthecommunitytoenvisionsolutionsratherthanonlyimpossibilitiesinthelossofclassroomspace.Manyotherinstitutionshavethrownuptheirhandsandwaitedforassistancewhenfacedwithsimilarsituations.Thisdependenceongovernmentandreliefagenciestomeetdisasterneedsisbecominguntenableasthecostofnaturaldisastersgrowandthestrengthoflocalandworldeconomiesisbeingdiminished.Althoughtherewasnophysicalpreparationfordisastersofanykindpriortotheearthquake,ColegioMadridwaswellpreparedinsomeveryimportantaspects.Thestrongcommitmentofstaff,studentsandparentswasnurturedovermanyyears.Particularlyimportanttosuccessfulrecoverywasthecommitmenttoworkingasacommunity.Thiscommitmentdoesnotsimplyappearinemergencysituations,butdependsonastructureofcommunicationandmanagementthatencouragesgroupproblem-solving.Theexistanceofsuchastructureisrareandmanymayarguethatitisprohibitivelydifficulttocreatesuchanatmosphereintoday'sschools.Theunderlyingschooldistrictandstategovernmentstructuresandthetransienceoffamiliesfrustrateeffortstobuildsuchcommunitycommitment.WhileColegioMadriddoes17

PAGE 20

providepossiblesolutionstoproblemscaused by anearthquake,itdoesnotprovidealltheanswersforaschoolwishingtoprepareitselfforrecovery.Theprocessofcopingwiththestressofearthquakeeffectsdidclearlydefinethestrengthsandlimitationsofthisschool,justassuchanexperiencewillmakeobvioustheuniquestrengthsandlimitsofschoolsthathavenotyetundergonesuchanevent.Theissuesoffear,incapabilityandconflictthatcolegioMadridfacedarenotunique;theywill be confronted by allschoolsintheirrecoveryfromdisasters.Itisnotnecessary to waitforadisaster to beginthisprocessofself-definition.Byimagininghow aschoolwouldhandletheseissues,whatfactorswouldcomeintoplay,andwhatproblemsmightarise,schoolleadersmaybegin to addressweaknessesandidentifyandstrengthenthosestructuresthatensureeffectiverecovery.(16,17)18

PAGE 21

Footnotes 1.The1985GuidebookforDevelopingaSchoolEarthquake Safety Programgivesdetailedinformationonhazardassessment,earthquakedrills,immediateresponseandcommunication, but givesno quidance onactiontotakeforperiodsgreaterthan24hoursaftertheearthquake.(FederalEmergencyManagementAgency,1985.)lawafterthe1933 Long requirespUblicschoolorretrofittedtomeet2.TheFieldAct,originallysignedintoBeachearthquake,andsinceupgraded,buildingsinCaliforniatobeconstructedstringentseismicsafetystandards.3.Hayward,steve&BillFarrow,Earthquakecoalinga/HuronJointunifiedSchool District, JuneMoorparkUnifiedSchoolDistrict.surveyof14,1983,4.TheCaliforniaEarthquakeEducationproject(CALEEP)isresponsibleforthedevelopmentofcurriculumandthetrainingofleadersinactivitiesandprogramsrelatedtoearthquakesandearthquakepreparedness.5.TheNationalScienceFoundationQuickResponseGrants,administeredthroughtheNaturalHazardsResearchCouncilattheUniversityofColorado,allowresearcherstorespondimmediatelytodisasters.6.TheCaliforniaStateSeimicSafetyCommissioniscomposedofspecialistsinearthquakerelatedfieldswhoservetoproposeandadviseonmeasuresthatwillincreaseearthquakepreparednessinthestateofCalifornia.OneofthesemeasuresistheinstitutionoftheCaliforniaEarthquakeEducationProject.7.InterviewswereconductedinacombinationofSpanishandEnglish,henceallcommentsbyColegioMadridpersonnelareparaphrasedunlessotherwisenoted.8&9.InterviewswithstudentswerecompiledandtranslatedbyE1iaArjonillaandRosaMelgar.10.-Arjonilla,Elia&RosaMelgar,personalcommunication,JUly1986.11.Arjonilla,Elia&RosaMelgar,personalcommunication,JUly1986(directquote).12.Figueroa,German,"NosotrosAhora,"ColegioMadrid,Year1,Number1,June1986,p.3.13.Robledo,Eduardo,interviewwithRosaMelgarandEliaArjonilla,1986.19

PAGE 22

14.Dynes,Russel,1970,"duringtheemergencyperiodaconsensusonthepriorityofvalueswithinacommunityemerges;asetofnormswhichencouragesandreinforcescommunitymemberstoactinanaltruisticfashiondevelops;alsoadisasterminimizesconflictwhichmayhavedividedthecommunitypriortothedisasterevent."p.84,organizedBehaviorinDisasters,D. C.HeathandCo.,Lexington,MS.15.Fritz,CharlesE.,1961,"Thismergingofindividualandsocietalneedsprovidesafeelingof belongilgness andasenseofunityrarelyachievedundernormalcircumstances"p.100,contemporarySocialproblems,(Merton,RobertandRobertNisbet,ed.)Harcourt,Brace,andWorld,NewYork.16.SeeGratton,VivianG.,"Recoveringfrom"Disasters:ScenariosforSchoolCommunities,TrialTestingDraft,"CaliforniaEarthquakeEducationproject,LawrenceHallofScience,universityofcalifornia,Berkeley,California,1986,forscenariostousewithinschoolcommunitiestoincreasepreparednessforearthquakerecovery.17.SeeThier,HerbertD.,eta1.,"IntentionalityandAction:ASurveyofMexicocitySchoolteachers'PerceptionsandExpectationsFollowingtheSeptember1985Earthquake,"CaliforniaEarthquakeEducationProject,LawrenceHallofScience,UniversityofCalifornia,Berkeley,california,1986,foranalysisof data gatheredinasurveyofMexicoCityteachersregardingtheirexpectationsandeffortswithrespecttoearthquakepreparedness.20


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