RALEIGH (WTVD) --Over Lacy Elementary School's loudspeaker system the message "Teacher's, at this time we are under a severe weather warning" echoed through the building Wednesday.
Classroom doors opened and with urgency, care, and patience, teachers led their students to the hallway where they faced the wall and covered their heads with their hands.
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Lacy Elementary was just one of hundreds of schools across North Carolina taking part in a statewide drill for Severe Weather Awareness Week. While it was just practice, students and school leaders take it seriously.
"It hurt my head, but I'm just glad I was protected," said second grader Madison Fowler with confidence in her voice.
"In case of a real emergency, that would be what we do, and it kind of, to me, felt like we were doing it," said fifth grader Azyarah Williams.
Last year, North Carolina issued sixty one tornado warnings, with sixteen tornados produced. During the same time, 697 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued. The National Weather Service cautions people to be aware of severe thunderstorms, as the storm could produce damage equal to that of a tornado.
The National Weather Service says that if you are faced with severe weather, like a tornado, go to the most inner part of your home at the lowest point, preferably where there are no windows.
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Officials say they hope that students will share the information learned in school with their families.
"If we can get that information to them at the schools, and they can share it with their family and their family can share it with their sphere of friends, we can help get everyone prepared," explained Nick Petro, a warning coordinator meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
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