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New desks could be an earthquake preparedness stop-gap as schools await seismic upgrades

(Source: pepbc.com)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There’s been a lot of discussion on emergency preparedness after Tuesday night’s earthquake. And new desks could be the key to helping save kids’ lives in an emergency.

As schools around the Lower Mainland await seismic upgrades, one group is proposing a cheaper way to assure kids safety.

Two students could use these desks at the same time and when an earthquake strikes, they could go underneath and be protected from falling debris.

Stephen Noon with PARATUS Emergency Preparedness says in tests, they dropped concrete blocks on these desk.

“The concrete block bounces off the desk, whereas the traditional type of desk… is crushed instantly,” he tells us.

Noon says this is a cheap and quick way to help out.

“It’s at least a Band-Aid solution to offer some level of protection until the longer and bigger problem of actually upgrading the buildings or replacing them — which is by far the better option — can be done.”

He feels these desks can give students and teachers a chance to survive under circumstances where they couldn’t before.