Don’t Get It Twisted

Tornado Warning Throws Staff For a Loop

Ms.+Rachel+Brannon%27s+sixth+period+class+found+shelter+in+the+men%27s+restroom+of+the+Social+Studies+workroom+%28photo+by+Nikki+Demetriades%29.

Ms. Rachel Brannon’s sixth period class found shelter in the men’s restroom of the Social Studies workroom (photo by Nikki Demetriades).

Courtney Gibson, Staff Writer

On Monday, March 14, Northmont High School students rushed to take shelter while they were under a tornado warning.

“We were hooked up with monitors for the National Weather Service, and students and everybody today, electronically, is hooked up through weather channel apps. So not only did that go off, but my phone went off,” said administrator Mr. Greg Behrens. Staff and student phones went off all over the building.

After the first warning ended and students returned to class, the alarms went off again.

“We knew we were not in danger. The [Student Resource Officer] told me they had had a funnel sighting in Arlington, which is due west of here. At that point, we went right back in [procedure],” said Behrens.

The emotions were running high throughout the school.

“I felt very unsafe and like we were very unprepared,” said senior Britney Hansard.

Because staff and students hadn’t yet been through a tornado drill at the new building and hadn’t reviewed tornado warning procedures, finding shelter seemed to be a bit chaotic. However, even with the assumed notion that the school was unprepared, administration said the response was better than expected.

“I can’t say enough about our staff and students. Any other school that had just moved into a new building, [wouldn’t have been as prepared],” said Behrens. “I mean that is truly amazing.”

With any emergency procedure, administration’s priority is the safety of students .

“We’re now in the process [of creating a safe plan] and have been. We didn’t have to have it done until April 1, because April, May, June and July are the tornado seasons,” said Behrens. The tornado touched down March 14.

The staff tamed the chaos and led students to safety. Twice.

 

The tornado touched down in Phillipsburg, Ohio. Picture courtesy of Dayton Daily News.
The tornado touched down in Phillipsburg, Ohio. Picture courtesy of Dayton Daily News.