LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Spring time is severe weather time in the Midwest, and schools like Hintgen Elementary in La Crosse believe it is critical for students to know what do to in case of a severe weather emergency.
Last year, 16 tornadoes hit Wisconsin and caused millions of dollars in damage. On Thursday, both Minnesota and Wisconsin emergency officials held state-wide tornado drills.
“We want to make sure students are prepared incase there is a natural disaster,” Hingten Elementary first-grade teacher Lisa O’Malley-Carroll said.
O’Malley-Carroll said with Thursday’s drill, she hopes students understand how to take cover if a tornado were to hit nearby.
“We are teaching students to stay away from windows, go to an interior wall, and to make sure they cover their heads,” O’Malley-Carroll said.
There haven’t been any new changes to the standard tornado and severe weather emergency protocol for many years. Hintgen Elementary Principal Mark White said he believes the current protocol is just fine the way it currently is.
“The idea is to quickly get the students to the safest possible position,” White said.
White has been Hintgen Elementary’s Principal for the past 25 years, and he said his students and staff have never had to apply tornado drills in a real-life situation. Despite never going through an emergency weather situation, White said it’s always best to be prepared for the worst.
“We want to take it seriously each and every time and make sure the kids do the same. Our teachers are great about that, so they understand that if it ever happens again, we hear that noise, we immediately go to that position so that we can be as safe as possible,” White said.
Barring any severe weather emergency situations, Hintgen Elementary knows they’ll be ready for whatever may storm their way.
White said including fire and safety drills, schools in the district practice at least ten safety drills per school year.
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