Kentucky Schools participate in statewide tornado drill

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Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 12:36 PM EST
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KENTUCKY (WYMT) - Schools across Kentucky participated in a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday.

Some said the drill was a tough reminder of the March 2nd tornadoes ten years ago.

Officials with Salyersville Grade School said it felt strange to be in the same building that was destroyed in those storms during Wednesday’s drill.

“I mean the middle school is no longer across the street from us,” Principal Gary Helton said. “We now have a baseball/softball field that you are reminded of that. We also have a new high school, when you drive by, you’re reminded that’s a product of our tornado.”

The school was one of many buildings and homes left heavily damaged by that outbreak of tornadoes.

“We went back after the tornado had hit and looked at the locations that we actually had our students, where they would be going to,” Helton said. “All those areas remained intact and so our students would have been safe had they been at school.”

Helton also said the experience changed how they proceed with these types of drills, since going through that experience firsthand has helped staff respond well during them.

One of the teachers, Marisa Brown, said the yearly drill brings back bad memories.

“When we had to go to a new building for a while, how they all came together and worked so hard to make a good, safe, happy place for the children,” she said. “While we waited to get back here.”

Helton said the procedure is a necessity.

He added that is more prevalent now after the event of the 2012 natural disaster.

“We are susceptible to severe weather. Our kids, a lot of our students that we had at that time, their parents were telling us that they knew what to do at home,” Helton said. “The kids had practiced those drills.”

Brown said the tornado has since heightened faculty and staff.

She said everyone is ready for whatever is next.

“We really want them to make sure they are following those procedures. We just tighten it up a little bit,” Brown said. “I think we were doing things really well before but now we just want to make sure they’re really tight. Everyone is in a good spot and they’re really safe.”

Brown said the kids did well during the drill.

“They all know the drill, we do it a couple times a year,” she said. “So, they are really accustomed to it. They know what they’re doing.”

Helton said it is all about doing whatever they can to keep their students safe.

“Glad that we can keep them safe and that’s the main thing,” he said. “That’s our main thing, to get our students home to their parents the way that they arrived here.”

Helton said Wednesday’s drill went smoothly, wrapping up in just a few minutes.

He said he was proud of everyone involved.

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