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GPISD students learn how to stay safe during tornado emergency

Posted at 1:35 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 19:48:15-05


The National Weather Service in Corpus Christi held a tornado drill in the area on Thursday morning. Among those taking part was the Gregory Portland Independent School District.

The drill began at 10 a.m. when the National Weather Service issued a message over its radio.

Jennifer Nohavitza, a third grade teacher at T.M. Clark Elementary prepared her students for this moment.

“So we hear the announcement, and the students immediately leave their desk,” said Nohavitza.

The students then find shelter away from windows, interlock their hands behind their head, and crouch down low to protect themselves. The students stay in that position for about five minutes.

GPISD students joined other schools and about 20 local businesses and organizations for the drill. Driscoll Children’s Health System, La Palmera Mall, and Cornerstone Home Health also participated.

But for GPISD students, this tornado drill is just one of many done at the district. Students also practice fire, lockdown and evacuation drills.

“Our district has placed a big priority on safety over the last couple of years,” said Michael Thieme, the director of safety security at the district.

Now, everyone involved in today’s drill, including more than 1,000 GPISD students, learned how to stay safe in the event of an emergency.

“We practiced a lot,” said Maddie McMains, a third grader at the elementary school. “So I think if we do have a real one, we’re going to nail it.”

The National Weather Service also has tips for people at home. They recommend the family conduct a severe storm drill regularly, so everyone knows what to do during an emergency. Consider having a designated safe room, and make sure all family members know where to go.