Schools | WCTV Eyewitness News | Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Local Schools Prepared in Event of Tornado


By: Lanetra Bennett
May 22, 2013

Thomasville, GA - Local school leaders say you can never be 100 percent prepared for nature's force. But, they say they do routinely make sure they're as ready as possible in the event of a tornado hitting South Georgia or North Florida.

In a single-file line, students walk into the hallways of the school, sit with their backs to the wall, and hold their heads down and cover them with their arms.

Students at Cross Creek Elementary School in Thomasville know to follow this procedure in the event of a tornado.

Third grade student Sydney Vital says, "We go out in the hallway as quiet as we can and protect our heads from getting hurt."

Thomas County administrators say they can't fathom the idea of a tornado like the one in Moore, Oklahoma that tore through two elementary schools and killed ten children Monday.

But, to prepare, Emergency Management officials visit the schools at the beginning of every school year to go over the tornado drill and evacuation routes.

Cross Creek Principal Clay Stanaland says, "The key, I've been told is to be in an interior hallway, not an exterior wall. We have the exterior wall of the classrooms and then we have the interior wall of the inner classroom door where the kids would be. So, we have two layers of walls before you get to our kids."

As a reminder, or in the case of a substitute teacher being present, the severe weather plan is posted up in every single classroom at Cross Creek Elementary School.

Lee Bailey, an assistant superintendent with Thomas County Schools, says, "We're in an area that's prone to tornadoes. So, it's something that we're well aware of and we try to do the best we can to protect all our students."

Leon County Schools also have drills that they practice throughout the year. District leaders say they also hold training table top exercises for administrators and staff.


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