Chapel Hill school prepares for severe weather


This is Severe Weather Prepardness Week in North Carolina. Here, meteorologist Bill Reh takes a look at the preparedness of a middle school in Chapel Hill.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Children spend many of the hours they are awake at school.

Meteorologist Bill Reh went to Culbreth Middle School in Chapel Hill, where students learn and practice what to do in the event of severe weather.

The threat of severe weather was forefront on the minds of the seventh graders at on the day Reh visited, and they have been learning about severe weather in science.

“We’ve learned a lot about the types of severe weather and mainly what to do,” said Natalie Varma.

Morgan May, a science teacher at Culbreth, asked the students, “In school, typically what we need to do to avoid dangers associated with tornadoes, is we stay away from what?”

“Stay in rooms that have no windows, so there is no debris,” said Souray Mahony.

Since practice makes perfect, students practiced the tornado drill throughout the school year. As the alarm sounded, they were reminded to put their knees into their chest, put their backs against the ball and keep their heads down.

Culbreth Principal Beverly Rudolf said, “Our district is very good at having plans for all kinds of scenarios and situations; and then of course each school with its unusual building structure has to figure out where to go in the event of a tornado.”

Reh wanted to know if the students also had a plan for what to do at home.

Student Anna Walsh responded, “Yeah, we do. We all get our pets and head into the laundry room which is the safest room in our house.”

Another student answered, “At my house we have a bathroom in the middle of the house, and normally we’ll just go to that bathroom.”

And if the threat of severe weather happens at the end of the school day?

Rudolph said, “If we need to hold students until 8 o’clock tonight, we’ll do it. We’ll do what we need to do to keep our students safe.”

Electronic communication between the school and home is crucial, as administration can send out immediate tweets to let parents know what’s going on and of course at that time, if it’s safe, we would allow our students to get on their phones as well and let their parents know that they are safe.RELATED STORIES

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