Mississippi Students Participate in a Statewide Tornado DrillBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 06 Feb 2013 04:57pm |
Mississippi is in the middle of what's commonly called Tornado Alley. It stretches from Little Rock Arkansas to Birmingham, Alabama. According to the National Weather Service 41 Mississippian's were killed and nearly 300 were injured in severe weather outbreaks last year. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how officials are urging residents this week to get prepared by practicing drills that could save lives.
At Galloway Elementary School in Jackson, students are participating in a statewide tornado drill that teaches them how to stay safe during the event of a tornado outbreak. Principal Erica Bradley says once the severe weather warning sounds everyone has only 3 minutes to make their way to their designated safety zones.
"It is a critical amount of time to focus and move in a safe and orderly manner. To get in position with your hands locked over the back of your neck, head faced forward in front of you to protect from anything overhead that may fall during that storm."
Tornado statistics from the last 60 years show that the frequency of tornadoes increases from the middle of February through April. That's why National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Wilkinson is encouraging residents to seriously consider purchasing a weather radio.
"So they're kinda like a siren inside your house. They can wake you up in the middle of the night. They can give you an initial notification of a tornado or severe thunderstorm. And then you know if it’s not right on top of you, you can flip on the TV or look on the Internet to find out what's going on and then determine if it’s going to affect you. You know sometimes you may not know to turn on the TV unless that weather radio goes off."
As Galloway sounds the all clear alarm school counselor Dr. Julie Harris says she is glad students are being prepared for the possibility of a tornado especially during school hours.
"In fact it did happen a few years ago in Jackson. A tornado was sighted during school hours and student had to know what to do. And at Galloway we did quite well. I did talk to my son and he said there were no problems at his school as well."
Officials say Mississippi is near the top of nearly all tornado statistics, including total number of deaths. Lawayne Childrey. MPB News.
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