A look inside schools’ approach to Wednesday’s statewide tornado drill

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, staff and students at Pelham Road Elementary School participated in the statewide tornado drill. The drill was sponsored by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the National Weather service as part of the state’s Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week. Because of COVID-19 protocols, Pelham Road Elementary School’s iteration of the drill looked different from years past.

 “This year, with our social distancing requirements, it had to look a little bit different,” Assistant Principal Heather Dye said. “We’ve done a talk-through drill this morning, where staff brought students to tornado-safe areas, seated on six-feet social distance stickers and we talked through what we would do in an actual event.”

Instead of normal procedures, where staff and students would pack together in hallways and other tornado-safe areas, teachers talked most classes through the proper process. Several classes rotated through practicing the drill in hallways but teachers made sure students maintained appropriate social distance.

According to SCEMD, South Carolina averages 11 tornadoes annually. The majority occur between March and May, but can occur in any season.

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