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How to conduct a tornado drill for preschoolers

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April is the time of year when spring weather brings the possibilities of tornados. Preschoolers need to learn what to do if a tornado threatens to damage the building where they are staying.

The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) recommendation is that preschools have “periodic drills” for disasters, such as tornados. The DCDEE recommends “informative yet non-threatening activities” to prepare preschoolers for such disasters.

An example of a threatening activity would be a consistent repetition of a drill to the point that children are frightened. A drill should be discussed, perhaps in a story at a group meeting, before it actually happens. A book about the weather is a great place to start.

Then, the drill should be performed once in a day. If the drill does not go well, then the students should be briefed on what went well and what did not go well and how to do it better tomorrow.

Before conducting the drill, an emergency plan should be established. A safe place for preschoolers to gather during a tornado drill, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is “away from windows and glass doorways”. The CDC recommends going “to the innermost part of the building on the lowest possible floor.” Children should get on their knees and duck into a child’s pose, covering their head with their arms.

clouds Streeter Lecka/Getty Images


During tornado season, keep the weather alert radio nearby and turned on to receive alerts about warnings. Keep an eye on the sky for suspicious funnel clouds or a green look to the sky.

glass doors
glass doors Jonathan Wood/Getty Images

glass doors

During a tornado drill, stay away from glass doors and windows. Go to the innermost room in the lowest level of the building. Children should duck to their knees in child's pose and protect their heads with their arms.

preschool class
preschool class Pool/Getty Images

preschool class

A tornado can strike at any time there is unsettled weather. Do not allow special activities to prevent emergency plans from happening. Ensure that preschoolers are prepared and know what to do.