Tornadoes can strike anywhere at any time. We should all prepare for the
possibility of a tornado by learning the safest places to seek shelter.
This applies to more than just homes. Every school should have a plan as
well. Here are some guidelines for helping your school prepare for
- Develop a plan
and have frequent drills
- Each school
should be inspected and tornado shelter areas designated by registered
engineer or architect. Basements offer the best protection. Schools
without basements should use interior rooms and hallways on the lowest
floor and away from windows.
responsible for activating the plan should monitor weather information
from NOAA Weather Radio and local radio/television stations.
- If the school’s
alarm system relies on electricity, have a compressed air horn or
megaphone to activate the alarm in case of power failure.
- Make special
provisions for disabled students and those in portable classrooms.
- Make sure
someone knows how to turn off electricity and gas in the event the
school is damaged.
- Keep children
at school beyond regular hours if threatening weather is expected.
Children are safer at school than in a bus or car. Students should not
be sent home early if severe weather is approaching.
- Lunches or
assemblies in large rooms should be delayed if severe weather is
anticipated. Gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums offer no
protection from tornado-strength winds.
- Move students
quickly into interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor. Have them
assume the tornado protection position – bent over with your torso
resting on your upper legs and knees, head down with arms clasped over
the lower head.
Practice your plan frequently!
Hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions should develop a
information on tornadoes
or to become a Disaster Resistant Neighborhood, please contact the Van
Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Domestic Preparedness,
Lt. Robert Kurk, 269-657-7786.
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