Four bells ring and within seconds, fourth grade Murfee Elementary students are activated into safety mode. Principal Kathy Rollo says, "Every child in every classroom is moved to a safe place where there are no windows." For Ms.Cude's class, that means moving to what's usually a supply closet. The students sit down with their books over their heads for protection. The lights are turned off to simulate a power outage. Once inside the safe place, teachers take attendance.
Rollo says, "Every teacher has an emergency bag that we use for severe weather drills and fire drills. It has a class roster so they can check to make sure everyone is here. It also has a book to read to the children to ease anxiety and they also carry a flashlight."
The students don't leave the safe room until the drill or threat of severe weather is over. Murfee Elementary practices three to four severe weather drills every year.
Each school has a safety plan to follow while the Lubbock I.S.D. police department monitors conditions for the entire district. Officer Craig Jackson says, "As soon as there is severe weather in the area, we begin watching to see where it's moving and begin making plans at that point. We then work with principals to make sure they are into drill position and safe." Lubbock I.S.D. Police discourage parents from picking up children during severe weather. Since the weather usually moves through the area fast, they'd rather parents let the children stay safe then get caught outside in it.
|Making a Kit for an Emergency Situation|