When Disaster Strikes

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Alabama's governor says the staff at Enterprise High School did everything possible to avoid tragedy when a tornado struck Thursday afternoon.

Eight students died, despite all the precautions taken to protect everyone inside. As a parent, you probably felt some fear when you heard this story. So, do you know what your child's school does to keep people out of harm when nature unleashes her fury?

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has some answers.

"We feel like we're prepared."

Three times a year, Knox County Schools require students to perform disaster drills.

"It could be a tornado drill, it could be if there's an intruder in the building and they need to go into a position of emergency status," says Bearden Middle School Principal Heather Karnes.

As we enter storm season, tornado drills are very important.

Principal Heather Karnes says at the sound of a bell, students go to a designated spot.

They line up along the walls of the classroom and cover their heads.

"Any room that has any glass in it, those children evacuate that room and go to a designated spot," Karnes says.

Parents say it's scary their children could be at school when severe weather hits.

"That's the hardest part, is not knowing what's happening," says parent Ruth Crowley.

But it's good to know they're safe. "You never know what kind of severe weather can come through and it's very unexpected so I think it's a good idea to do the drills here," she says.

And the unexpected hit Enterprise, Alabama Thursday, killing eight students.

"That's a nightmare, that's just a terrible thing," says Karnes.

High school students were trapped under a collapsed roof after a tornado ripped through the town.

"It kinda makes you worried, but there's not much you can do if a storm comes through if they're doing everything that they need to do," Crowley says.

"I don't know what their drill procedures were, they could have done everything right, you can't control the weather," Karnes says.

But the one thing Principal Karnes says schools can control is how prepared children are. "We feel prepared, but are you ever? And we do the best that we can."

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