How do preschools and day cares plan for tornado safety? - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

How do preschools and day cares plan for tornado safety?

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  It was laughter and learning Wednesday at the Children's Center at Carolina Park, but if a tornado warning is issued, it becomes anything but child's play.

"We have a direct link up with Mt. Pleasant Police, Fire and EMS," Chris Marino said.

"In the case of tornado, if we were to get an alert about tornadoes touching down in the area all call would go out to the teachers from the front desk. The teachers would bring the students into the hallway and line them up in the hallways and the children who are old enough would put their hands over their heads and the teachers with the infants would do what they could to protect their heads," he explained.

There are 210 children at the preschool and about half are two-years-old or younger. Some are not able to walk yet. There are special emergency cribs in those classrooms with bigger wheels for quicker movement to safety and shelter. Administrators and support staff are already assigned specific infant and toddler rooms to help move the younger children.

"The main thing we want to do is get the children out of the classroom because there is so much glass that poses a danger," Marino said.

There are no tornado drills like in the public school system, but they have a fire drill once a month which teaches the children to pay attention, follow directions, move quickly and remain calm.

"The children know that when they are going out one of those emergency exit doors that things are serious and that's why we do that regularly. We are just getting them used to the procedure so that God forbid we need to act we can do so in a way that is safe," he said.

Tornado plans vary from facility to facility. You should check with your child's preschool or day care facility to make sure it meets your personal needs and standards.

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