TornadoSafetyAMS

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Published on October 7, 2007

Author: Techy_Guy

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Oklahoma Tornadoes: Is Your School Prepared?:  Oklahoma Tornadoes: Is Your School Prepared? Andrea Dawn Melvin Program Manager, K-12 Outreach Oklahoma Climatological Survey Albuquerque AMS January 15, 2001 Publications and Symposium:  Publications and Symposium National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 1999: Oklahoma/Southern Kansas Tornado Outbreak of May 3, 1999. Service Assessment. Silver Spring, MD. 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. National Symposium on the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of 3 May 1999: Toward a Unified Approach of Understanding, Prediction, Warning, Response, and Recovery. Westin Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK. 30 April - 3 May 2000. Slide3:  Will your school safety procedures measure up? Video courtesy of KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City Glazed sidelight at classroom entrance:  Glazed sidelight at classroom entrance Place of refuge – corridor with clerestory windows. :  Place of refuge – corridor with clerestory windows. Similar Hallway After May 3, 1999:  Similar Hallway After May 3, 1999 Collapsed roof structure and exterior wall struck by the vortex of a violent tornado.:  Collapsed roof structure and exterior wall struck by the vortex of a violent tornado. Damage to interior and exterior unreinforced masonry walls when bond beams failed. :  Damage to interior and exterior unreinforced masonry walls when bond beams failed. Damaged door most likely opened by impact with heavy object. :  Damaged door most likely opened by impact with heavy object. Watch/Warning/Awareness/Education:  Watch/Warning/Awareness/Education ~550-684 fatalities without intervention But (only) 46 died. Why? Slide14:  Not only does Oklahoma City tornado activity peak in early May, greater than 75% of Oklahoma City area tornadoes occur within 2 hours of 0000 UTC (7pm LDT) There is no excuse for not being prepared! (provided this information is known!) Slide15:  May 3, 1999 70 tornadoes 46 direct fatalities, at least 5 indirect 36 fatalities in Moore/Oklahoma City tornado Most in US in one day since 1985, Most deaths in Oklahoma since 1947 More than 600 treated in Oklahoma hospitals $1.5B damage 8000 structures in OKC Slide16:  Locations of Deaths Permanent home (single family) 21 Permanent home (apartment) 3 Mobile home 17 Other permanent building 2 Outside 2* Vehicle 1* Indirect 5 * overpass related Slide17:  TORNADO MYTHS Downtown Overpass Student Awareness:  Student Awareness Student survey (11-14 years old, 5-8 graders) 85% took action >95% of those took approved action >80% said they had learned storm safety in school ~1800 Moore Public School students lived in housing which was TOTALLY destroyed or seriously damaged. Only 6 students were hospitalized; but 4 parents were killed Scientists and teachers wonder if students remember any safety procedures they are taught in school. These children obviously did, and what they learned probably saved lives. Keeping Your School Safe:  Keeping Your School Safe Develop a severe weather plan. Have frequent drills. Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm and a battery back-up to receive warnings. Know the county/parish where the school is located and surrounding counties. Have a Means for Notifying Building Occupants to Activate the Emergency Plan that does not rely on electricity. Considerations When Developing a Severe Weather Action Plan:  Considerations When Developing a Severe Weather Action Plan Avoid areas with large span roofs Special provisions for disabled students and portable classroom facilities Plan for all situations (i.e., including lunch, recess, field trips) Know how much time you need to implement plan Threatening weather anticipated - keep children at school Discuss parental action plan (I.e.,meeting place, information officer) NOAA Weather Radio :  Track the storm movement from weather bulletins using a highway map. Understand the criteria for each type of watch and warning. Be aware that storms intensify rapidly and tornadoes can form before a Tornado Warning is issued (e.g, during a Severe Thunderstorm Watch). Be Alert to changing conditions. NOAA Weather Radio Reasons for Updating Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan:  Reasons for Updating Your School’s Tornado Emergency Plan Plan created when building was constructed. Interior of building has been remodeled or repaired. Portable classrooms added to school. Local, state, or federal building codes have been updated. Plan was last updated more than 5 years ago. Significant storm occurred near school but school was not affected. Procedure for Determining Tornado Shelters in School Buildings:  Procedure for Determining Tornado Shelters in School Buildings Step 1: Architect or engineer designated tornado shelter Step 2: Estimate of the max winds Step 3: Type of damage caused by max winds Step 4: Hold an all school meeting to accept or reject use of the proposed tornado shelter areas Step 5: Plan rejected - discuss alternatives Don’t Let Your Students In These Areas:  Don’t Let Your Students In These Areas Face an Aftermath Like This!:  Face an Aftermath Like This! Summary:  Summary Meteorologists stress Watch/warning/education/ awareness - works to save lives. Awareness/Education activities are crucial Students knew what to do, took action Safety “rules” do work (e.g., lowest floor, interior room) Role of teachers in “Disaster-proof” communities. The 3-R’s - Resource, Respect, Response State-of-the-Science Education/Awareness Role of schools in “Disaster-proof” communities. Build safer school structures Place importance of safety before aesthetics Slide28:  PHOTO CREDITS: The Daily Oklahoman National Severe Storms Laboratory National Weather Service - Norman, Oklahoma Ft. Worth Star Telegram Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms Oklahoma Climatological Survey FEMA City of Moore National Weather Service - Melbourne, Florida Associated Press KFOR-TV Oklahoma City

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