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How Safe Is Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan? Andrea Dawn Melvin Oklahoma Climatological Survey National Symposium on the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak.

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Presentation on theme: "How Safe Is Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan? Andrea Dawn Melvin Oklahoma Climatological Survey National Symposium on the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Safe Is Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan? Andrea Dawn Melvin Oklahoma Climatological Survey National Symposium on the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of 3 May May 2000

2 Based on Findings from: n National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 1999: Oklahoma/Southern Kansas Tornado Outbreak of May 3, Service Assessment. Silver Spring, MD. n Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1999: Oklahoma and Kansas Midwest Tornadoes of May 3, 1999 Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance. Building Performance Assessment Report. Washington, D.C.

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4 The Tornado Safety Rules Everyone Remembers n Move into interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor. n Avoid gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums. n Cover your head with blankets, pillows or mattresses.

5 Eastlake Elementary, Moore, Oklahoma Glazed sidelight at classroom entrance

6 Northmoor Elementary place of refuge, Moore, Oklahoma – corridor with clerestory windows. This corridor offers little protection from tornadoes as shown in a school of similar design in the next slide.

7 Kelly Elementary School, Moore, Oklahoma, place of refuge – corridor with clerestory windows. These interior corridor walls had brick masonry up to a height of approximately 7 ft. Glass extended from the top of the brick masonry to the top of the wall.

8 Sooner Rose Elementary School, Midwest City, Oklahoma. According to the tornado plan for this school, this hallway is designated as a place of refuge.

9 The non-reinforced interior CMU walls in this area of Kelly Elementary collapsed after the roof system was removed by vortex winds of a violent tornado.

10 Collapsed roof structure and exterior wall at Kelly Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, struck by the vortex of a violent tornado.

11 Damage to interior and exterior unreinforced masonry walls when bond beams failed at Kelly Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma.

12 Damaged door most likely opened by impact with heavy object. Kelly Elementary School, Moore, Oklahoma.

13 Narrow Entrances to Shelters

14 Windows in Basement

15 Keeping Your School Safe n Develop a severe weather plan. n Have frequent drills. n Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm and a battery back-up to receive warnings. n Know the county/parish where the school is located and surrounding counties.

16 Rule: Develop a Severe Weather Action Plan. n Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums and any cafeteria with large unreinforced walls. n Special provisions should be made for disabled students and those in portable or temporary classroom facilities. n Plan for all situations, including arrival, lunch, recess, departure times, field trips, sporting events, and special ceremonies. n Know how much time you need to implement your severe weather plan. n If threatening weather is anticipated, keep children at school beyond regular hours. Cancel lunches or large assemblies. n Provide parents with copies of action plan and designate a place for reuniting with their children.

17 Rule: Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm and a battery back-up to receive warnings. n Track the storm movement from weather bulletins using a highway map. n Understand the criteria for each type of watch and warning. n Be aware that storms intensify rapidly and tornadoes can form before a Tornado Warning is issued (e.g, during a Severe Thunderstorm Watch). n Be Alert to changing conditions.

18 Reasons for Updating Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan n Plan created when building was constructed. n Interior of building has been remodeled or repaired. n Portable classrooms added to school. n Local, state, or federal building codes have been updated. n Plan was last updated more than 5 years ago. n Significant storm occurred near school but school was not affected.

19 School’s Must Have A NOAA Weather Radio, a Tornado Emergency Plan, and a Means for Notifying Building Occupants to Activate the Emergency Plan.

20 Cardinal Rule


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