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Iowa Schools Districts Create Their Own Emergency Plans

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/FOX 28)-- Finding a safe place to sit and hide, students at Coolidge elementary school go through emergency drills, following the plan they've been taught over and over again.
"It's always trying to stay one step ahead of a potential situation," said Laurel Day, security manager for the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
Going door to door, police and school safety officials drill students and staff twice a year on what to do if an intruder ever broke in.
"Preparing for this type of an event drill is no different than preparing for tornado or fire," Day said.
But what is different about these drills versus one for a fire or tornado is that they're not required, at least not by the state.
Each district is responsible for deciding how they will implement those plans," Day said.
According to a study by Save the Children, a non-governmental disaster relief group which focuses on children, Iowa is one of only four states where districts are not required by state law to file emergency plans.
But Cedar Rapids schools have one anyway.
"It's something that in today's society, you've got to be prepared to take action," said Sergeant Mark Andries who leads the school districts drills.
And since the state doesn't make the drills mandatory, each district does-- a requirement that he and a team of officers take seriously
"If we have an actual event, everybody's prepared and will take the proper actions for the best safety outcome we can get," Andries said.
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