TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week here in the Hoosier state and for one particular school, this week has taken on a whole new meaning.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t ever think of it as such a big deal,” said Southwestern Middle School student Kelsey Kincanon.
Yet, that’s all changed. Kincanon says now, both she and her classmates view this week a little differently.
“It’s a lot more serious and it definitely touches a soft spot after everything that’s happened,” said Kincanon.
Southwestern Middle School Principal Karen Smith said she’s also noticed a change in her students.
“The kids always took it seriously before, but now there’s an added impact,” said Smith. “Once, you know, you have an experience, and you don’t want to have that experience go haywire. Shall we say, they take it very seriously.”
Smith said they’ve always used this week as a time to retrain students about what to do and where to go should severe weather strike. With Southwestern students now being housed at Wea Ridge Middle School, she said some minor changes had to be made.
“We have looked at the locations, found the best place, redrawn the map, made sure our kids knew where to go, and have practiced the drill two or three times prior to this week,” said Smith.
That drill will be practiced again on Thursday, along with students across Indiana.
Kincanon said while the tornado may have changed the way Southwestern students view Severe Weather Preparedness Week, she wants students across the Hoosier state to know you shouldn’t wait for disaster to strike.
“I just want them to know not to take it for granted,” said Kincanon. “That this is a serious matter and the people at their schools are really looking out for them.”
Severe Weather Preparedness Week wraps up on Saturday, March 22.