Expect the Unexpected: Tornado


Aarav Julka

A diagram of the F0 tornado that touched down on February 27.

It was business as usual at Benet Academy when the school day started on February 27, a cold and wintery Monday. Students pushed the remnants of the weekend out of their minds as they spent periods 1 and 2 getting back into the swing of the regular school day. Outside, the weather took a turn for the worse as the wind picked up and the sky darkened. 

During period 3, the daily routine of Benet Academy’s student body was interrupted by the sound of dozens of cell phones sounding a shrill and piercing alert, warning that dangerous weather was in the area. Shortly after this, the tornado sirens of the village of Lisle began to sound, letting the students and faculty know that this was not a drill. 

Amidst the background of blaring sirens, students were whisked out of their classrooms by their fearless teachers to the nearest shelter points in the hallways or basement levels of Benet’s halls. Sure enough, as Benet Academy’s students assumed their face down positions, an F0 tornado hit the ground near Warrenville, IL from 9:52 to 9:54 a.m.. Seven minutes later, an all clear was given by Dean Cabay over the intercom system and students shakily returned to their normal classroom lessons. 

Benet Academy’s quick and efficient response to the tornado of February 27 demonstrated that the school’s preparation for natural disasters, that was practiced earlier in the year, truly pays off. This is particularly important as there is no way to predict the levels of danger or damage that a tornado can bring and one must prepare for the worst case scenario. While this tornado was only an F0 on the Fujita rating scale, without fatalities or significant injuries, Lisle has seen an F5 tornado back in 1990 that left 29 people dead, 350 injured, and caused over $250,000,000 in damage. 

A prepared student has the best chance to be a safe student in the event of an emergency such as a tornado. As such, students should all strive to be prepared and take all natural disaster drills seriously because in reality, one never knows when a drill is going to be a real life or death situation.