On Friday May 17th, students across Puyallup will practice walking their designated emergency evacuation routes from the valley floor out of the lahar hazard area.
More than 8,000 students from public and private schools will participate in this drill. In the interest of time, the practice evacuation will involve partial rather than full evacuation routes. Students will exit their schools at approximately 9:15 a.m. and walk to designated assembly points before turning back. In the event of a real emergency, students would continue along their assigned evacuation routes to specified collection locations.
This exercise is restricted to schools, school facilities and city staff. The general public will not participate, and the lahar warning sirens will not activate. As indicated on the map, the schools sited outside of the lahar hazard area will not evacuate. In a real emergency, these schools would serve as collection locations for students evacuating from the hazard area.
We ask that everyone be patient as the students practice walking their evacuation routes. Student safety will be the highest priority, and the groups will be kept off of main roads and carefully guided at railroad crossings and various traffic control points. Each student body will be accompanied by a law enforcement officer in addition to teachers and school staff and volunteers.
The exercise is expected to last about one hour. A media staging area will be provided at the Washington State Fair and Events Center.
Media contact: Brian Fox, Puyallup School District, firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-841-8703.
- The City’s emergency management division encourages the public to be aware of their own evacuation routes from their homes or places of employment.
- The evening before the drill, the US Geological Survey is offering a community workshop at the Puyallup Library. Seth Moran, USGS scientist-in-charge of the Cascades Volcano Observatory, will present updated research regarding volcanic risks to the Puyallup Valley.