Getting through the initial first hours of a disaster can be devastating especially if you have loved ones or children who are impacted. That's what the families of the Parkland, Florida shooting victims discovered in February. On Friday Illinois State University and University High School tested a plan for students and families after a disaster. including those that come at the hands of mother nature.
University High School students are evacuating their school during this simulated tornado drill. U. High is about a mile from ISU'S Redbird Arena, the designated safety spot.. Illinois State University is testing it's emergency re-unification plan.
"We're trying to quickly and efficiently get a student re-unified with their parent and then provide a whole range of support services here because for a major event this could take hours," said ISU Emergency Manager Eric Hodges.
Parents who participated in the drill were notified of the disaster and instructed to go to the arena. The students were sitting in the upper bowl. The principal said the reunification plan could also be used during an active shooter situation.
"We would identify where it was occurring in the school and teachers would determine if their kids were gonna "run, hide or fight. If they run they would relocated over to this area and be reunified with their parents here," said University High School Principal Andrea Markert.
One student said the process went quickly.
"Everybody left pretty quickly so it was a fast process. We didn't have to wait that long," said U. High Freshman Lindsey Shouse
During the drill there were several observers evaluating the process. Students and parents filled out evaluation forms.
ISU officials said they will compile the information and see if they need to make changes or improvements.