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Students practice tornado safety in the wake of Alabama storms

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Person County students took part in a statewide tornado drill Wednesday morning designed to make sure students know what to do if a real emergency ever arises.

After learning of the tornado that hit southeast Alabama, South Elementary School Principal Patrick Holmes, said the drill – which had been planned prior to the weekend storms in Alabama – could not have been timed better.

The morning of Mar. 6 students were told to leave their classrooms and head to the nearest hallway.

Students were instructed to squat down with their heads between their knees and hands covering their heads until more instructions were provided.

Holmes and his teachers walked through the hallways to make sure students weren’t facing windows or doorways and instead faced the wall in their upright positions.

For many students, this isn’t the first tornado drill they’ve participated in. But it still seems like serious business, even to young students.

“It kind of scared me because I’ve heard a lot about tornado drills and I have seen what they can do on YouTube,” said fourth-grader Kara Foster.

According to Foster, it startled her when she heard the school was having a drill.

She and her classmates were unaware that the exercise was a drill.

One of Foster’s classmates agreed the drill came off to be a little frightening.

“It was kind of scary because I kind of felt like it was real. I knew it was a drill, but it was kind of scary,” said fourth-grader Neala Tong.

Tong says if she could change anything about the tornado drill it would be how students are placed during the drill.

They are currently using the “duck and cover” position however Tong says this can be uncomfortable.

“I would squat down and cover my knees and my head,” said Tong.

Holmes said the schools’ reasoning for not telling students when drills are going to happen is to make sure everyone is prepared in case the emergency is real.

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