With help from Sunrise Beach firefighters and police, Hurricane Deck Elementary School held an evacuation drill Tuesday morning.
Students and staff practiced an orderly exit from the building. The emergency crews blocked American Legion Rd. and Hwy. 5 as students evacuated and helped take the children to a secure location.
HDE Principal Christina Page announced the evacuation shortly after 9 a.m. March 19 and more than 200 people streamed out of the preschool through fourth grade school building.
Once at the other location, each teacher held up green signs marked safe and secure to show that all of their students were accounted for. In the case of an actual emergency, teachers also have red signs if a student is missing. Page and classroom teachers carried with them specially designated emergency backpacks with student information.
The principal answered students' questions before they were taken back to the school building.
The full evacuation was accomplished in less than five minutes, according to Page.
The evacuation strategy could be used in cases of structural damage to the school building or from human threats, said Page.
The full scale drill follows recent natural disasters and school shootings. The Sunrise Beach police and fire departments have been consulting with school officials on emergency strategies and preparedness.
Another full scale evacuation drill is planned in the fall in which students will be transferred to a different location than the secure spot designated March 19.