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GIPS participates in statewide tornado drill

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - In honor of Severe Weather Awareness Week, Grand Island Public Schools participated in the statewide tornado drill.

Seedling Mile Elementary did its second one this school year.

“It’s just a way for us to equip our students and make sure they know exactly what to do in an emergency,” said Principal Charity Labrie.

Fourth grader Jacob Gortemaker feels the tornado drills have given him the confidence to know what to do.

“Even if there was a real tornado drill going on, we would know what to do,” Gortemaker said. “We’d get up and go and exactly know where to go, and we can be quick about it without going way too fast.”

Gortemaker’s teacher Valerie Moline ran through the procedures with the classroom beforehand.

“The alarm sometimes scares them,” Moline said. “I always like to prepare them and to have them know where we go since some of them are new or have come later in the year.”

As soon as students heard the alarm, they lined up in a single-file line and walked to a room where they crouched down and covered their heads. Then, they stayed in this position until they were told it was safe to go back to their classroom.

“I have a little sister that goes here and she did it too, so it’s going to help us if there was one at home,” Gortemaker said.

Teachers also encouraged students to make a plans in case of an emergency with their families.

“The plan for at-home, we go in the safe and do the exact same thing at school, crouch down with our hands over our heads,” Gortemaker said.

The school’s main goal is to empower students to take action.

“If they feel like they could take charge of a difficult situation and help others, that’s exactly what we would want,” Labrie said.

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