DEXTER (WWJ) – One year after an F-3 tornado ripped through the town of Dexter, students in that community are taking part in a special tornado drill.

Principle of Dexter’s Mill Creek’s Middle School Jamie Bronson knows it’s a drill that can save lives,  and seeing  teens huddled with their Spanish books or Justin Bieber binder over their head brings a sense of hope that her students will know what to do if another tornado comes their way.

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“We spend a lot of time on safety and practicing and want to make sure the kids do it right – the better prepared you are – the better prepared we are with the crisis – we think on our feet better,” said Bronson tells WWJ’s Kathryn Larson.

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“It’s much more real for all of us, adults and kids, we now realize that when that siren goes off or when the school alarm goes off we’re going to take it very seriously because we saw what happened a year ago,” she said.

“There are a lot of kids in this building who were impacted by the tornado, a lot of adults in this building who were impacted by the tornado … it makes us take it more seriously and makes us reflect on last year.”

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On average a tornado touches down in the Dexter area about once every two and a half years. And with that real worry the Washtenaw County Emergency Management has taken action by installing warning sirens in about 60 percent of the area. By the end of the year that number will rise to 75 percent.