Charlotte schools practice storm preparedness

Credit: CNN

Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma took a direct hit in the May 20, 2013 tornado.

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 5:54 PM

Several children were hurt and killed after tornadoes in Oklahoma devastated two schools.

Charlotte-area school districts follow similar severe weather plans, with at least one drill each year.

Gaston County high school students know the drill well.

The school has prepared us really well," said Ashbrook High junior Gabriel Mathews.

Junior Grant Shuler said, "It depends on which classroom we’re in, but we go into certain areas of the hallway and get down on our knees and cover our heads. We go over it from elementary to high school constantly, so it’s ingrained in our minds,"

The principal at Ashbrook High did an informal drill Tuesday for NBC Charlotte. The images from Oklahoma prompted Principal Joey Clinton to talk to his staff this morning.

"We talked about our plans and what we would do, making sure things in our building are ready. For example, our weather radio, making sure it’s always on, and the batteries are where they need to be if we were to lose power. What would we do?"

He realizes there is sometimes simply no match for Mother Nature.

“I don't know that you're ever fully capable to handle something of that magnitude. A natural disaster is a horrific thing. We have plans in place to counteract, but I don't know that you can truly say, ‘I'm ready for this.’"

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