Eastern Iowa schools rely on tornado drills for preparedness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa schools rely on tornado drills for preparedness

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The tragedy in Moore, Okla., is a reminder of the devastating potential of some of these storms -- and a reminder of the value of preparing before disaster strikes. The tragedy in Moore, Okla., is a reminder of the devastating potential of some of these storms -- and a reminder of the value of preparing before disaster strikes.
LISBON (KWWL) -

Three minutes. 

It's the amount of time staff and students at the Lisbon Community School District are expected to execute their tornado drill.

The tragedy in Moore, Okla., is a reminder of the devastating potential of some of these storms -- and a reminder of the value of preparing before disaster strikes.

"Nothing can prepare you for the horrible situation that the folks in Oklahoma were experiencing," said superintendent Brad Laures. "But the more you practice, the more ready you are."

Four times a year, as per Iowa law, this K-12 building of 650 students drills for disaster, ensuring every student knows where to go.

"After the drills we take notes, we talk about what went well and what we need to do better," Laures said.

School leaders have selected three interior rooms as safe spots in the school.

Students and staff are assigned to report to the music room, wrestling room or locker room -- all areas protected from the potential of flying debris.

"The more barriers you can put up, the (safer) you're going to be, and in all these cases there's concrete surrounding on four sides," Laures said.

"Tornados generally take buildings apart from the top down, and from the outside in, and so that's why it's always, 'Go to the interior part of your building and the lowest level,'" said Mike Goldberg, director of Linn County Emergency Management.

Emergency management officials say on average, people have seven to 12 minutes to respond to the warning sirens.

Having a timed-out plan is the best thing to do to prepare.

"That's not a lot of time, so people should be prepared on what you're going to do for your school, your business," Goldberg said.

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