School Head Details Disaster Plan

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TURBOTVILLE -- At least seven children died in the tornado in Oklahoma and even more are unaccounted for after two elementary schools were destroyed.

Many school districts have emergency procedures in place, in case severe weather hits.  School officials in Northumberland County showed us how they handle emergencies.

The Warrior Run School District recently held a severe weather drill to prepare teachers and students for what to do if a tornado hits.  Even though it does not happen often, tornados have touched down in Northumberland County before.  The district says it's best to be prepared.

The images of what used to be two elementary schools in Oklahoma are haunting.  The two-mile wide tornado destroyed the two schools Monday, killing at least seven children.

While tornados are not as common in Northumberland County, Warrior Run School District has seen its share of storm damage.

"We have had some straight-line harsh winds here a few years ago.  We had some winds that took off that roof of the middle school," said Principal Jay Gordon.

The Warrior Run School District has a response plan in place in case there is an emergency.  If there is a weather-related emergency, the principal gets on the loud speaker and makes an announcement to the school, which puts the plan in motion.

"The teachers and the students know that they would close the windows, blinds, exit the doors and close the doors on the way out," Gordon said.

Gordon is the principal at Turbotville Elementary School.  He showed us some of the designated areas the students go if there is a weather-related emergency.  Some of safe places are bathrooms, closets, and cubicles in the hallways.  Fourth grader Katie Herman described the district's recent severe weather drill.

"Everybody was actually really quiet and they got lined up and went down into the basement."

Katie's mom, Abby says the drill gives her peace of mind, especially thinking about what happened in Oklahoma.

"The kids know what to do, where to go and there are adults here that can help them.  The adults know what to do and if something happens, they're not going to be scared and running around crazy."

The principal at Turbotville Elementary School says the last time a tornado blew through Warrior Run School District was 1985.  A student died so the district takes its emergency response plan very seriously.