ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
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High: 82 Winds: W 5-10 mph
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High: 63 Winds: W 3-6 mph
Are Our Schools Prepared for Severe Weather?
KETTERING -- The 1.3-mile wide tornado in Moore, Okla., included victims who were children. Seven drowned while taking cover in the basement of their school.
That tragedy prompted ABC 22/FOX 45 to see if our local schools are prepared to keep your kids safe.
We contacted several school districts and received call backs from Dayton and Kettering regarding their severe weather procedures.
"We are required to do tornado drills two times per year, however, we do at least four," said Johnathan Cooper, Principal of Southdale Elementary.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal requires all Ohio schools to do at least one practice drill, per month, during the severe weather months of April through July.
Anne Lundgren, a mother of four, is thankful for that practice. Her children attend Southdale Elementary, is thankful for that practice, so her kids can be prepared.
"I think it was a year ago we had some severe weather and I called up to the school asking if I should come and get the kids and minutes later there was a text went out saying that everyone was in the hall doing what they needed to be doing," said Lundgren.
The Kettering School district started the text alerts to keep parents calm, especially when severe weather is near.
At Southdale Elementary, if a severe weather emergency was to happen, the children are required to go into safe zones, which are designated by the school's principal. Those zones are normally the lowest level of the building and are away from glass or windows, which could be hazardous.
If there is a case of a parent wanting to remove their child from the situation completely. Kettering and Dayton Public Schools say that is an option.
"We allow them to make that decision as well, if they need to take their child out, that's something that we work with them on," explained Cooper.
To review the complete Tornado Safety Plan for Ohio Schools according to the Ohio Department of Education, click here.
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