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Students get weather safety lesson

Update: 5:58 pm, 3/4/14, Tuesday GIFFORD -- The last time kids here heard sirens, it was the real thing.
Update: 5:58 pm, 3/4/14, Tuesday
GIFFORD -- The last time kids here heard sirens, it was the real thing. Now students are practicing what to do in case severe weather strikes again. The school district's superintendent says kids have been a little shaken up since November's tornado. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out how leaders are taking extra precautions to help kids regain a sense of "normal."

A lot of kids at Gifford Grade School had their homes damaged or destroyed by the tornado. So, Tuesday, they got a little extra encouragement that things will be okay.

Sandy Beherns and her 3rd graders spent the morning practicing addition and subtraction. Students added an extra lesson just a few months after a tornado hit their village.

"Back in November, it was the real thing," said Beherns. "We knew we needed to take cover. This is a practice."

What to do if another storm hits, minus the real thing.

"Students and staff, at this time, we need to move to our tornado safety drill areas."

With that, students started something they've practiced many times before.

"In the past, our kids looked at it as a chance to get out of class for five or ten minutes and interrupt the mid-morning," said superintendent and principal Rod Grimsley. "You could tell in the looks on their faces that they understood what it meant this year."

Down to the lowest level of the school, heads down, they stayed as silent as they could. After the drill was over, an extra addition. Grimsley invited WCIA-3's Chief Meteorologist Derick Fabert to teach the kids about weather safety.

"It's okay to be scared and it's good to know what can happen," said Fabert. "It's okay to be scared, but we don't want to be overly-scared."

"You could just see some of them kind of had that sigh of relief that they understood a lot more," said Grimsley. "They weren't as tense."

So, even if things aren't back to normal just yet, they're at least on the right track.

"I don't think they'll be as scared if we do have to go to the weather shelter in April or May before school gets out," said Grimsley.

The kids at the grade school weren't even alive in 1996 which is the last time a major tornado came through the area. So hopefully, it will be a long time again before another one touches down around here.
Original: 4:31 pm, 3/4/14, Tuesday
GIFFORD -- After the statewide tornado drill, students at Gifford Grade School were ready for a weather safety lesson. The superintendent says students are still pretty shaken up and get nervous when it's windy or stormy. The lesson taught them how to be prepared in case severe weather strikes again.
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