So far, seven children have been confirmed dead after Mondayâ??s massive tornado in Oklahoma tore through Plaza Towers Elementary School.
While tornadoes in Upper Michigan are rare--only two in the past 10 years caused severe damage--incidents like the one in Oklahoma remind us just how important school drills can be.
NICE Community Schools' Superintendent, Bryan DeAugustine, walked us through the safety procedures taken to keep children safe if a disaster were to happen in the Upper Peninsula.
"If a tornado were imminent, we would get the students into the hallways away from the exterior walls and windows," says DeAugustine. "They'd huddle up near their lockers on the floor and cover their heads."
Every year schools in the State of Michigan are required to conduct six fire drills and two tornado drills, preparing students and faculty in case a natural disaster strikes.
The superintendent calls emergency situations "tough" because they are "unexpected," making these trainings vital.
"You fall back on your training and make sure that you know what to do before it happens," he says.
During the drills, students are instructed on what to do and where to go...information, faculty say, could save time and lives.
"Any situation where you have alarms going off, a lot of commotion, without direction, kids get panicked quickly," says Alexa Ahola, a substitute teacher at Aspen Ridge.
And the most important lesson teachers want students to take away during crisis drills is to remain calm.