Kansas has approximately 308 School Districts, including urban and rural districts. Every single School District needs to prepare and update a tornado preparedness plan. Each of those districts consists of multiple schools which each have unique floor plans and features that need to be taken into consideration to create the safest way to protect students and staff in the case of a tornado. Every Kansas resident knows that the potential for tornadic weather is a factor which must be lived with. Storm Defense Shelters is ready and willing to work with individual schools and districts to provide Community shelters for our young residents.
Factors for School Administrators to Consider While Making a Tornado Safety Plan (according to the Storm Prediction Center, Norman OK):
- TIME is critical. Meteorologists have come a long way in warning more quickly, but seconds count when getting students to safety.
- FLYING DEBRIS is the most dangerous tornado hazard. Keep students away from glass windows
- BUILDING STRENGTH is critical. If the architecture is not built to FEMA guidelines, you may want to look into installing Community Shelters. Storm Defense can help with that.
- PORTABLE CLASSROOMS can be a deathtrap during tornadoes. They may be a great solution for more room, but it is critical to evacuate students at the first threat.
- LARGE AREAS such as gyms, lunchrooms, auditoriums are a real danger due to lack of roof support. They are known to collapse in even weaker winds.
- A CAREFULLY DEVELOPED evacuation plan should be created immediately and a drill practiced several times a year.
- Have a NOAA Weather Radio available to keep updated.
- Keep a megaphone for communication in case of a power outage.
For more in-depth suggestions, school administrators should go to https://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/school.html
One of the most cost-effective ways to provide the perfect shelter is to install a Community Shelter built to FEMA standards to withstand EF5 tornadoes with wind speeds up to 250 MPH. Eric Stolfi from Storm Defense Shelters is honored to work with Kansas Schools to install the correct shelters for the particular needs of your school.