Schools Need Better Plan for Level 5 Tornadoes

This is one of the tornadoes that hit Edmond, and  it was also one of four tornadoes. Shawnee had about three tornadoes to hit their area on the same day just after the Edmond Tornado.
This is one of the tornadoes that hit Edmond, and it was also one of four tornadoes. Shawnee had about three tornadoes to hit their area on the same day just after the Edmond Tornado.

Storms in Shawnee and Moore, Oklahoma

For the past three days Oklahoma has endured hail, severe lighting, and tornadoes. About 14 miles from me I could hear the warnings of a level 5 tornado headed toward New Castle and Moore, Oklahoma. I listened and watched as our storm chasers on Channel 4 news got out and chased the tornadoes to keep the people of Oklahoma safe. I take my hat off to these people who risk their life to protect Oklahoma's citizens. We expect tornadoes in this state usually in tornado season. We find ourselves often calling relatives in other southern states to let them know that the storms are also headed their way, and they may arrive in a few days.

I heard for the first time ever that this is not a warning to get out of the way of the tornado, but this is an emergency meaning we have gone beyond the usual storms. Last year was the first time I ever in my life heard to get out of the way of a level 5 storm. That means that if you are not underground, then you will be wiped away. No one can survive a storm of this magnitude. Either you get out of the way of the storm or underground. There is no other option. If you are in the bath tube or a hall closet or in the hall of your house , then you are going to be blown away. I did not think about this too much at the first time that I ever heard it, but after yesterday's massive tornado taking out many homes, killing people and destroying businesses, homes and hitting and damaging hospital, then I am in complete shock. It really gets worse.

I found out two elementary schools were flattened, and no one knew where these children were. Parents had heard an earlier report that they were holding the children in the schools until after the storm passed. The storm hit Moore with a rage beyond anything you can imagine. Why would the schools think that leaving them in the school on a level 5 tornado with no underground shelter would protect the kids. Teachers threw their bodies over as many as 6 children. One school got out the kids, some were pulled and put in a church like the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. They left the 3rd graders in the school and maybe other lower grades as well. There were 75 unaccounted for children. Today we are hearing one school got the kids out ok, and the other is not so lucky. They are pulling children's bodies from the ruins today. This is so unreal, and my heart was breaking as a former 29 year veteran teacher. Children have been part of my life so long that you cannot take this lightly. Now as a writer and a person who believes in making a difference, then I feel like we do not need to sacrifice any more children in public school. Each and every school needs an underground storm shelter separated from the school. There would have been no way to save them. Maybe in a low level tornado with lower winds, then maybe they would have been able to survive, but with 200 mile
an hour winds blowing away everything in it's path, then there would be no hope for survival. So far they have found 9 bodies of small children, and still looking. The death toll is going up and down due to the problems with no power and communications working like cell phones. This tears me up inside, because I know that no one thought about what to do in case it was one of these level tornadoes. This has happened before in 1999 a horrible tornado hit Moore.

Workers have come out state wide and out of state to hunt for survivors of this storm. Both communities are devastated. Shawnee and Moore, Oklahoma took heavy heavy hit. I would like to thank those around the world for your compassion and caring. I would definitely like to thank Kfor TV and their storm chasers and news crews who have done things to keep us informed and to others around the state who have also tried to help Oklahoma. Thanks to the Red Cross and others who are trying to make a difference. Thanks to our Governor Fallin and President Obama for sending out whatever is needed. I would also like to thank the Muskogee Nation for their lending a helping hand and others in this state who care.

Please schools think about the future. Let us think about underground shelters for our children. Some people survived, because they were in a storm shelter underground. My prayers are going out to these families, and those of my friends across the country have shared thoughts and prayers and worried about my safety living here. My heart is going out to all these families, children and businesses. May we learn something from this crisis, and I know the first thing is that we all can make a difference.

Update on Schools- The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is giving the Moore Schools a grant of $500,000. according to a news report on as of Dec. 9th. The money will be used for the building of storm shelters in their schools. I can see the need is great, and If anyone person, or an organization would like to join in, then it would be greatly appreciated by all those of us that believe in protecting children.

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Comments 13 comments

Cheryl Wadkins 3 years ago

This is very true

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

If just one big company like the ones that put up a million dollars a piece to help the victims in Moore and Shawnee , Oklahoma, and if they elected to adopt just one school, then the job could get across this country to protect our children. I would say suggest this not as a public expense but a challenge to professionals like lawyers or professionals or big companies . It could be dealt with like a challenge to others to match their funds. I saw it happening with helping people here, and I know this could work across the Mid West and Southern and Eastern States. Not only is it to protect children in general, but their efforts could even protect their own grandchildren and possibly their own kids.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

I agree that we--the state, the schools, the community-- need to do everything we can to prepare for natural disasters. So let's really around the powers that be and help. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

Money is being committed as of today by some state representatives, and now they stand not as Democrats nor as Republicans, but as those who see what happened in Moore, Oklahoma with the schools, and committed to begin with $500,000. and they are going to build storm shelters for Oklahoma schools. This makes me feel like someone has finally seen the need that I was writing about. Now let others from other states go forward to help their school children as well with storm shelters in each school.

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

I have found out since I posted my comment that this only applies to the two schools that were hit by the tornado. So this does not appropriate nor look at the security of the lives of any other school children. As I said before this needs to be put in proper perspective here. Not only have the schools structures in Oklahoma come down on kids, but I specifically remember a time in Annistan, Alabama, when the roof came down on these kids as well. 7 lives might have been prevented from being lost, if someone had thought of doing something sooner, but many thousands can be protected, if we look for an answer.

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

Ladybluewriter, I agree with you wholeheartedly that we need better preparations and safe areas in our nation's schools. This applies especially to areas such as in Oklahoma and where tornado weather is common. Thank you for sharing this vital information. whonu

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

Parents are now approaching our Governor in Oklahoma about a bond issue to take care of putting safe rooms in every school. Parents are now beginning to stand and let their desires be known in public protest. Some of them were parents who lost a child in the bad tornado that hit Moore, Ok. this year. The still have other children that might be put in harms way.

We are still crying out.... help the children, and protect the young lives that could so easily face the same situation as this town did.! My heart was breaking to know that no one knew of their plight. Parents were frantic and the community knew after hours it was not going to be good. Please someone help the children!

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

I am not sure where we are in helping out the schools to get the children protected, but still have my eyes and ears open for new developments. I hope something is getting done for them.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I have always thought it was crazy that there are not underground shelters for kids. They spend most of their lives in school they need that protection. Here all homes have basements but few of the schools have basements. It's always too expensive. Voted up on your hub.

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

What really gets me is the fact that children's lives are important, but no where in the city have they provided for major storm or catastrophic shelters for any families. When I lived in Georgia you never thought of a level 5 tornado that no one could survive in it's path. I feel that not only is the state needing these for protection of children in school, but that it needs to go much farther than that. 7 children should never have died this way.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

I agree with you completely. One of my daughters was in her middle school gym when a tornado ripped the end off the gym! None of the kids were seriously hurt, but it was pretty traumatic!

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

Deborah Diane - Many times kids were pulled off buses and put in the halls. I remember in Georgia , when we started to have a drill, and the drill got real in a hurry. No one had anticipated that happening. It really makes you think how vulnerable these children are.

ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States Author

I am sorry, but either you are featured , or you do not take down something that was featured for over several months. There is no reasoning behind this. I start to get a comment from someone, and then all of a sudden I am no longer featured. This is in reference to the importance of children having storm shelters in school.

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