Practice makes perfect when it comes to school evacuation drills

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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) "You cant be prepared enough for different scenarios that you might encounter at a school," said Allen Brook School Principal Greg Marino.

The Williston school held an emergency situation drill Wednesday.

In the past years we've had successful relocation drills," Marino said. But they haven't practiced a reunification drill. That is when students are bused from the school, to an undisclosed safe location, where parents can pick up their kids.

"I like the way it went. It's important to do drills like this," said Khamal Edwards, one of several parents who say they didn't know about the drill in advance -- to make it as realistic as possible. They got a call from the school while it was going on. "We have seen what has happened in the past 5 or 10 years in terms of emergency situations, so it's good to practice these things. It's good to have the kids be aware of emergency situations possibly happening."

"What we have learned is that when you push yourself to the limit, in terms of doing something you haven't done yet, it really causes you to get down into the weeds, into a level of detail in terms of preparedness that is different then on paper," Marino said.

With the recent attack at a school in California, the drill that has been planned for months couldn't have came at a better time. "The procedures that school followed helped save people's lives. It just underscores the importance of practicing these things on a regular basis," Marino said.

Although it could be a scary situation for parents getting that initial phone call, Edwards knows that doing these drills not only benefit the school and police, but the students as well. "This is a good drill to have children learn to do overtime, so they know what to expect and where to go and who to listen to," Edwards said.