School participates in statewide tornado drill

Intruder, evacuation drills also are planned



Students wait for all clear from Dr. Greer

Sara Kress, Reporter

With the statewide tornado drill taking place on March 21, the school has reviewed and practiced procedures for bad weather, with other drills for an intruder and evacuation in the works.

On March 20 during flex, the juniors and seniors met in the auditorium for a presentation from Dr. Tom Greer, chief officer for student services, who informed them about proper procedures to follow when the drills take place.

“Every school is required to (have a tornado drill),” Greer said. “You don’t have to do it right at the same time, just sometime that day it’s required.”

For the most part, the students, faculty and staff are already aware of what to do in the event of a tornado. “The teachers and students all know that you go to the basement of every building,” Greer said. Therefore, in Cunningham students and teachers will go to the band room, in Loretto they will proceed to the football locker rooms, in Kelly Hall they will go to B basement and in the theatre they will gather in the green room.

Greer expects to be prepared if a tornado does hit. “Usually with tornados you have a pretty good warning, which is nice and which we didn’t have back in the old days, so we usually have 15 to 20 minutes of warning,” he said.

Greer also talked to the students about an intruder drill, which is scheduled to take place March 28. During this drill, students and teachers will act as if the school is on lockdown and a potentially violent person is in the building. The drill will give the teachers and staff a sense of the quality of the current procedures that are in place.

“We’ll be testing the PA system and emergency bell and all the cell phones to make sure everybody’s on the same page,” Greer said.

Another procedure called a reunification drill is set to take place in April. This drill will consist of the entire school gathering on the football field. Greer said, “(The reunification drill) prepares us for if something happened during flex where no one knows where anybody is. We’ll make sure everybody’s safe. If we have to leave the campus, that’s when we walk down through the neighborhood to the All Souls Unitarian Church (on East 56th Street) to release from down there if something happened. That’s where we have a safe place to be.”

Greer stresses the importance of these drills. He said, “Communication really is, we’ve found out, the most important thing.”