Jan Hufford knows a lot about lesson plans. On Tuesday, her fifth graders are getting a lesson about safety.
“You drop down,” she said. “You cover your head. Okay?”
The call comes at 10 on Tuesday morning.
“As soon as you hear the alarm, you start to go,” she said. “You don’t have time to line up.”
All 568 Seton Catholic School students and staffers participate in the statewide Illinois tornado drill. They walk downstairs to shelter. It takes just a minute for the Seton student body to line the dark hallway.
“The kids do know what to do in case there ever was a serious weather occurrence like a tornado,” said Principal Jane Barrett. “They’re prepared.”
While disaster drills are valuable, this exercise is especially timely. It’s taking place less than a week after dangerous storms moved across the midwest.
Devastating scenes in recent days deliver a powerful message. They show how quickly a tornado can topple neighborhoods. Drilling can save lives.
“It’s kind of easy since we do it every year,” said fifth grader Emma Volk. “We know what we’re supposed to do.”
“If they don’t know what to do, anything could happen,” added Sam Mattecheck, 11. “It’s pretty dangerous.”
With a plan in place, it is safe at Seton.
“Very good, boys and girls,” Barrett said. “You did a nice job today. We’ll be ready if ever we would need to do this for real.”
At Seton Catholic School, it’s a lesson about safety that only takes a minute.