Elm Creek Public Schools Revamps Tornado Safety Measures


Certain codes are set at local schools to ensure their safety, all in an effort to save lives.

And this is something area schools are working to stay on top of, especially when it comes to severe weather.

Wednesday, Elm Creek Public Schools revamped their readiness for tornados. And though it might not be tornado season right now, officials say it's always important to be prepared.

Revamping their tornado plan has been on officials' to do list for a few years now.

Since they've added a new building, Superintendent Dean Tickle felt now was the time to do it.

"We've got a new building that's only three years old and so to go through and find out at certain times of the days what would be good shelter for kids was kind of the genius of the project," he says.

The National Weather Service held a presentation for students as part of the school's tornado plan.

Teaching students the truth about tornadoes, separating fact from fiction and teaching how to correctly respond tornado warnings were major focal points.

Meteorologist Scott Bryant says it is something that's important to remember at all times of the year.

"It's important to practice year round. It's important to keep that fresh in their minds so that next spring when true tornado season rolls back around we're not caught off guard, we haven't forgotten what to do or where to go during a real tornado," says Bryant.

Active in helping the school revamp the tornado plan were three third graders who felt a sense of urgency to help after tornadoes struck schools in Moore, Okla.

Audrey Worthing, one of the three students, said, "For us it was really devastating and depressing and made us think, is our school really safe in case that ever happens?"

Worthing, along with Sydney Hubbard and Anna Hoffman raised money to send safety kits to Moore, Okla. and volunteered in Wayne, Nebr. after an October tornado ripped through town.

The girls' volunteering was part of their FCCLA service project, which they are looking forward to taking to state later this year, and possibly nationals after that.

"They really did a wonderful job putting together a tornado plan for us so we're thankful for them," says Tickle.

The school will continue to revamp the tornado plan as needed in the future.