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Penrhyn schools undertake emergency drills

Tuesday 25 October 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, Outer Islands

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Penrhyn schools undertake emergency drills
Penrhyn School teachers Saunoa Ivirangi (left), Napa Sonny, Masitia Taime, Hanapo Viniki and principal Apii Napa. APII NAPA/22102002

The Penrhyn schools of Omoka and Tetautua hold emergency drills – in the event of a tsunami, cyclone or fire – each term to ensure the students and teachers are kept updated and informed of the necessary procedures.

Principal of both schools, Apii Napa said: “It’s all about being aware – education awareness, the students and staff are all involved in our emergency drills.”

The students and staff are alerted of the emergency drill through the continuous beating of the “pate”. Everyone is then required to walk in an orderly manner to their designated evacuation point.

Omoka School’s evacuation point is the parking lot across the road from the school grounds and for Tetautua School, their evacuation point is at the entrance of the CICC church.

“These specified areas are easy access places for parents/guardians to pick up their children in the event of a disaster,” said Napa.

For the cyclone drills, life jackets are compulsory and must be worn.

Napa acknowledged the donation of the life jackets for both schools. The lifejackets for Omoka School were donated by Rongohiva Watersports – Jackie and Dr Teina Rongo – and Tetautua School’s jackets were gifted by the Cook Islands Red Cross Society.

Each teacher now has adult sized lifejacket which were purchased through both of the schools operating budget.

“Not only do we use the lifejackets for these emergency drills, we also use them for excursions on the lagoon and for crossing from one village to the other,” Napa said.

“It’s paramount that emergency safety procedures are practiced to educate and ensure lives are saved.”