Are local schools ready if a tornado hits?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Among the devastation from Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla. was two school buildings.

So, are local schools ready if the worst happens?

"It makes me nervous more than anything," said Jamie Klauke, the director of student services at St. Francis Seraph.

She says after seeing the damage in Oklahoma, it's important for her students to be prepared.

"Even at their own homes even if their parents aren't home, they need to implement their knowledge as to where to go-places to be," said Klauke.

If a tornado is headed to St. Francis, students go downstairs to the cafeteria and hide under the table, where there aren't a lot of windows. It's a plan students have practiced often.

"We do the tornado drIlls, we have a sound system on our phone that our students know what to do. They are posted in classrooms, so students aren't freaked out if it actually happens," said Klauke.

"(If) you're in a school and you have a basement, its the best protection," said Capt. Maurice Vassar with Cincinnati Police. "Stay away from windows, windows have flying glass and debris-that's the most deadly part of a tornado."

And although it's the safest location, it's not always life saving.

"All these things are trying to lessen the odds of something bad happening there are no guarantees," said Vassar.

In Moore, Okla., seven students drowned hiding in the basement of their school while a tornado ripped through the building.

Capt. Vassar says what schools do before a tornado is probably more important than what they do during the storm.

He says drilling, posting signs, maps and really just raising awareness of safety zones can make all the difference in the world should something happen.

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