Interested in knowing what’s going on at your child’s school? Well, this week marks the Annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, which is an education campaign to inform Florida students about all types of severe weather that may occur. The annual event includes a statewide tornado drill at all public schools, as well as several contests for the kids to get creative for the cause. 

Prepare your children for a tornado drill 

  • Start by talking to your children about the following procedures:
  • Many schools will sound a loud siren to alert the school of a tornado. Listen for an announcement stating “This is a Tornado Drill”.
  • Once the drill begins, listen carefully to directions from your teacher. The teacher will ask you to follow them in an orderly line. Always walk and do not run to the designated area. 
  • Once you are in the designated area, follow the teacher’s instructions carefully. If you are in a hallway, the teacher may ask you to line up along the wall away from windows.
  • Show your children how to get in the protective position. Start by getting on your knees, with your head facing an interior wall and then, place your hands over your head. 
  • Remind them to remain silent and listen for directions. Their teacher will likely check attendance at this time.
  • They will know the drill is over when they will hear a “building is all clear” signal and be instructed to return to class. Tell them to be sure to walk back to class quietly, and listen for directions upon returning.
  • Lastly, while not all schools may follow this exact drill, it’s the common version. 

Have a family disaster plan

  • Your family may not be together if a disaster were to occur, so it is important to plan and discuss what you should do. Ask your children the questions below and create a guide to follow in case of an emergency. 
  • How will we get to safe locations in the event of an emergency?
  • How will we get in touch and what are the emergency contact numbers?
  • Where is our family meeting place after the emergency?
  • Where do we keep our emergency supplies like flashlights and batteries?