Valley schools take part in statewide tornado drill

Published: Mar. 19, 2019 at 6:45 PM EDT
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"Tornado warning" was heard across the state on Tuesday, notifying Virginians to take cover for a tornado.

The annual test is from the National Weather Service in an attempt to remind Virginians of their tornado plan.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said in 2018, Virginia saw an increase in the number of tornadoes that touched down in the Commonwealth.

There may have not been a tornado in the valley for several years, but experts say it's even more of a reason to practice your drill now.

"Remember, it only takes one tornado and you to be in the path of it, for your life to be changed forever," said Mace Bentley, a geographic science professor at James Madison University. "So you really need to focus on what you would do if you were to go under a tornado warning."

Mountain View Elementary School was just one of the many schools in the valley that took part in the statewide drill.

Students were brought out of the classroom, into the hallway away from windows, and asked to sit in front of a wall with their hands over their heads.

School officials said this process may take some time, but keeping students safe is their number one priority.

"So while they do take a few minutes out of our instruction, safety is our priority, so those few minutes can save someone's life in the long run," said Leslie Kapuchuck, principal of Mountain View Elementary.

Kapuchuck said the school does several other drills throughout the school year to remind students exactly what to do in case of an emergency.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said it's best to have plan and be ready for your family to act on it in a moment's notice.

To see if your emergency plan aligns with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management,