Students drop, cover and hold for earthquake drill

La Plata, MD- Southern Maryland is no stranger to earthquakes. A 5.8 magnitude quake in Virginia on Aug. 23, 2011, was felt in Maryland. And while most Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students might not remember it, or were even born yet, those who attend General Smallwood Middle School and Gale-Bailey Elementary School know what to do if another one rocks the area.

“Drop, cover and hold on,” was the direction Oct. 18 at the two schools which took part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, an annual drill supported by state and federal emergency management agencies. “The drill gives students another tool to have during emergency situations,” Gale-Bailey Principal Verniece Rory said.

Students in Bailey Roscoe’s second-grade classroom are well-versed in how to stay safe in various situations. “All of my students practice [drills] in case of emergency,” Roscoe said. Recently, the class practiced running to its rally location, said Michael Jones, one of Roscoe’s students. The drill is practiced in the event students and staff have to run from the school due to an emergency and become separated. The rally point is a predetermined spot away from the school where the class can meet back up.  

Schools across the state participate in a number of drills throughout the school year. CCPS holds 11 fire drills each year. Also held annually are four reverse evacuation drills, four lockdown exercises, four shelter-in-place drills and four for severe weather.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.