Students practice shelter-in-place drills across Kanawha County, - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Students practice shelter-in-place drills across Kanawha County, WV

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Students at Piedmont Elementary read during shelter-in-place drill Students at Piedmont Elementary read during shelter-in-place drill
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CHARLESTON, WV -

All schools in Kanawha County, WV participated in a 'shelter-in-place' drill on Friday morning.   It was held in conjunction with National Emergency Preparedness Month.

At 9 a.m., principals across the county received automated phone calls about the lock down from the central office.

The drill mimics what would happen in the case of a chemical or toxic emergency.

At Piedmont Elementary in Charleston, Principal Steve Knighton said this isn't a far-fetched scenario.

"You could have an industrial accident with a tanker or a train derailing and whatever they're hauling could be toxic in nature. Those fumes could obviously spread across the river to our school," he said

During the drill, all of the doors were locked, the HVAC systems were shut off, and the kids filtered into the middle of the hallways.

They quietly read books during the 30 minute drill.

Knighton recalls only one time when the school had an actual real emergency.

"One time, there was a gasoline leak at a service station, and it went into the storm drain. It came up through our flood vents and actually ignited, and we had to evacuate the kids," he said.

That happened in the 1970s, but he said you never know when one could happen again.

He said these yearly refreshers are good for both students and teachers.