EMD: Annual tornado drill key to preparedness

Do you remember the tornado drills you experienced during grade school days?  If so, it was time well spent, according to the state Emergency Management Division. That’s why they’re still holding these drills today. 
The annual statewide tornado drill which includes the schools was held 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Derrec Becker, Public Information Coordinator for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division says this allows students to participate in a learning experience that stays with them for a lifetime. “We get that type of feedback from the public more often than not. They’ll say, ‘Oh, yeah, I remember doing that when I was in elementary school.’  And that’s really our hope. The students that took part in the tornado drill this morning are, hopefully, going to take that preparedness message with them their entire lives.”Becker says the weather can change rapidly this time of year. “We’re fast approaching the busiest tornado time of the year for South Carolina -the spring months.  The weather is very unpredictable. We see a lot of tornadoes. We saw it last year, and we saw it the year before as well. It’s our hope that people take the time now to prepare for something like a tornado, or heavy winds and rain, severe flooding before the weather starts to happen.”
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division co-sponsors an annual tornado drill with the National Weather Service to remind people that severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods are significant hazards in South Carolina.
Testing communication systems and safety procedures is the purpose of the drill as well as promoting awareness of procedures that help keep us safe during tornadoes. “Our website, scemd.org  is a phenomenal resource for people wanting to develop a family plan, some advice on how to prepare a family preparedness kit and how to prepare for all the types of disasters that South Carolina faces.”
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) jointly sponsors the drill with the National Weather Service as part of South Carolina Severe Weather Awareness Week, held this year March 1-5. Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association, and others who participate in this annual event.