Rockford area school admin. go over tornado safety plans in - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford area school admin. go over tornado safety plans in light of OK storms

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After fierce storms hit two Oklahoma schools, taking the lives of nine students, the people in charge of your kids while they're in class realize this could happen anywhere. Rockford area administrators are double-checking their severe weather policies.

"We end up doing usually about two drills a year, at least two a year, I like to do one in the Fall and one in the Spring so it's fresh in the kids' minds before the bad weather season starts." -says Rockford's Lincoln Middle School Principal Jason Grey.

Belvidere South Middle School holds one or two test-runs each year. In the 1960's, the city was hit by a deadly tornado. One positive outcome from that storm is it keeps kids focused.

"[Students] do take it seriously and so does staff and everybody takes the drills just as they are; an opportunity to practice so we know what we need to do should an emergency arise." -says BSMS Principal Ben Commare.

No Rockford area districts have had severe weather emergencies this year. District administrators say their thoughts and prayers go out to people in Oklahoma.

"I believe every parent, every teacher, every school administrator looks at the situation that happens in Oklahoma and says 'That could've been us,' and so we do what we can to make sure that we are as prepared as we can be." -says Harlem School District Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Barb Browning.

The two schools hit this week did not have reinforced tornado shelters where teachers could take students, but an Oklahoma Emergency Management Department administrator says a safe room might not have necessarily saved more lives since no disaster mitigation measure is absolute.

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