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North Putnam Schools will conduct tornado drills for preparedness week

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BAINBRIDGE -- North Putnam Community School Corporation will be conducting tornado drills next week in conjunction with Indiana's Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 14 to March 20.

Typically schools conduct tornado drills during the day. North Putnam will take it a step further and conduct drills at the end of the school day, which will involve the school buses.

Because of these drills, bus dismissal will be delayed 15 to 20 minutes while the schools conduct the drills.

"We plan to take two days to conduct these drills," said Assistant Superintendent Kevin Emsweller. "One day we'll focus on the two elementary schools. On the other day, the drill will be conducted at the middle and high schools."

According to the National Weather Service, "tornadoes can occur any time of day or night, any time of the year. In Indiana, peak tornado occurrences are from April to June and between 3 and 8 p.m.

"We have been finding this true," said Emsweller. "In previous years, we've had a couple of severe storm warnings in the spring, close to dismissal time and when we had buses on the road.

"A few years ago, in November, a tornado warning was issued just as we were beginning to dismiss the buses. Students were kept at school for over an hour until the storm passed," Emsweller continued.

Governor Mitch Daniels has proclaimed March 14 to March 20 as "Severe Weather Preparedness Week." The NWS, in cooperation with the Department of Education, state and local Homeland Security units, state and local police, other public groups and units of governments will conduct a state wide severe weather and tornado drill.

The NWS has established an evening drill exercise between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. Parents are encouraged to practice appropriate severe weather procedures with their families.

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