Georgia schools participate in annual tornado drill

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 9, 2018

Students at Cross Creek Elementary School participate in the tornado drill on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Charles Roop / WCTV)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The announcement came on the intercom at 9 a.m. Friday at a Thomas County elementary school.

“Teachers, may I have your attention,” the voice said. “Please proceed with our severe weather drill at this time.”

The voice was Cross Creek Elementary School principal Clay Stanaland. His instructions were a part of the statewide tornado drill, which is a part of Georgia’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The annual drill ensures that students and faculty are prepared for the real thing.

The drill comes just over a year since tornadoes ripped through South Georgia. Seven twisters on Jan. 21-22, 2017 killed 16 people and injured more than 40.

“People are taking [the drill] seriously,” Stanaland said. “Teachers are really preaching it continuously - just reminding students about the proper procedures. It’s about safety.”

The principal, who has been at Cross Creek for eight years, said that last year’s tornadoes stayed a few miles away from the school, and didn’t cause damage to the school. Stanaland said he felt fortunate that school was not in session during the outbreak.