Enterprise Principal Offers Tornado Survival Tips to Bay County Schools

By: A-mila West Email
By: A-mila West Email

PANAMA CITY -- Tornadoes, or the threat of them, is a pretty common occurrence in the panhandle. Friday Bay County educators picked-up some important tips from someone who's had to deal with the unthinkable.

The Enterprise High School principal, Rick Rainer, lived through a fatal tornado in 2007 and shared his experiences.

Tommy Smith Elementary administrative assistant Janie Branstetter says she's never had worry about a preparing for a natural disaster at school. That doesn't mean that she shouldn't prepare.

"We do have a procedure for preparing for severe weather and we're actually going to be practicing that next week," said Tommy Smith Elementary Administrative Assistant Jane Branstetter.

She and others received tips about natural disasters Friday morning, from Rick Rainer. Rainer was the principal at enterprise high school in 2007 when the school was struck by a F5 tornado.

Bay Co. Security Chief Mike Jones said, "They put their children in one of the safest places, the safest place on the campus and that's where the deaths occurred and you just never know when it's going to happen. He talks about those lessons learned he talks about those things that they did right they did wrong things that they'll do better in the future."

At the seminar teachers and administrators can grab a list that tells you everything you can find in a "to go" bag.

The administrator's to-go bag should include things like flashlights, ace bandages and whistles.
As for Branstetter, she's staying positive, hoping for the best for her school.

"Hopefully it will be an experience I will never have to go through,” she said.

Next week is severe weather week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is recommending all school districts create preparation plans and procedures.


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