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Keeping students safe during severe weather season

coweta students.jpg
Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 20:21:35-04

TULSA, Okla. — The school year is nearing a close, but for many students and school faculty, the severe weather threat is just beginning.

So, is there a way to ensure our student’s safety from severe weather like tornadoes? We get some answers from the 2 News weather team.

Just last year, a tornado touched down in the City of Coweta hitting part of its school facilities. Thankfully, no one was injured. The storm struck on the weekend when school was not in session.

Unfortunately, other situations across the country have not ended that way. A tornado touched down in the city of Moore, Oklahoma in 2013 hitting the town's school directly. Teachers and children lost their lives.

As a result of this devastation, many schools have taken steps to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Each has a plan in place for severe weather situations. For example, Cascia Hall Preparatory School built a basement in 1926 to house their students and staff when those sirens sound.

Most people know where to go if a tornado strikes. An interior room with no windows on the lowest floor of a building is the best place to shelter if there isn’t a basement. However, most schools don’t have basements for students to shelter in place and have instead built 'safe rooms.'

These metal safe rooms can be above ground or underground and can sustain winds up to 250 mph, which is basically equivalent to an EF-5 tornado. The strength of the tornado that hit the school in Moore had reported wind gusts upward of 210 mph.

Whether your children are under a desk, hunkering down in a hallway, or seeking shelter in a safe room, preparation is key. Knowing where to go and what to do is significant; this is why drills and evacuation plans are vital.

Knowing what to do and where to go when there is a potential for severe weather is very important. And just as important… having a way to get notifications when dangerous weather threatens.

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