At 10 a.m., a siren droned over the public-address system in locations like the school’s Atrium Building.
“Hornet alert,” a campus policeman said, activating the school’s emergency communication network of voice, email and text messages. “Seek refuge immediately. This is only a drill.”
An officer waved students toward a Tornado Refuge Area, marked by green signs in English and Braille with a funnel-cloud icon, in a first-floor corridor.
“Okay, let’s go, let’s go, to the end of the hallway,” he said as about 100 students walked calmly and steadily into the 150-foot long, 8-foot wide hallway.
Students spilled out of the neighboring classrooms, except for lecture halls like Biology, which had no windows.
Game programming and design student David Little, 18, of Atlanta said the school followed the procedure he learned growing up.
“Stay away from windows and classrooms that have windows. It’s best to stay away from doors with glass panels,” he said. “Stay away from anything less solid than a wall.”
As students lined the walls, conversations took place in several languages during the 10-minute drill.
“Are we in danger?” said one student.
“We’re in danger of losing class time,” said another.
“That’s a danger I can accept,” the first replied.