The Norman Transcript


June 20, 2013

May tornadoes prompt heightened scrutiny of school shelters



In the meantime, districts like NPS are continuing an ongoing process of collaboration, review and revision of storm protocol to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff in a weather event, earning the district National Weather Service StormReady certification in December.

“Not every school in the district has a FEMA-certified shelter, but even if we did have storm-ready rooms, insufficient procedure and communication would mean a lot of challenges and dangers,” Siano said.

The NPS district bases its protocol on facility-specific sheltering plans that are reviewed and revised annually, and which students practice multiple times a year. Issuing storm procedures is based on the district’s top-tier communication and weather awareness tools.

“Storm shelter plans are developed based on each individual building, with experts coming in from outside the district to evaluate the safest locations for students to shelter,” Siano said. “Lincoln, for example, has a basement, but it isn’t fortified and the building could collapse into it in the event of a tornado, so people in the school don’t shelter there.”

NPS Community Relations Director Shelly Hickman said part of the district’s weekly operations involve a teleconference between Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Roger Brown and the National Weather Service. In the event of severe weather, Brown has direct access to NWS personnel for up-to-the-minute information to aid with decision-making.

“Our proximity to the NWS really equates to us having direct access, and we very much value and are grateful for this partnership,” Hickman said.

Additionally, the district keeps parents informed of storm procedure implementation via the Infinite Campus emergency notification system, NPS website, mobile app and social media. For internal communications, the district implemented use of district-wide two-way radios to ensure contact isn’t lost due to cell, phone line or power failure.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • One killed when shipping container falls onto vehicle

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police say one person was killed when a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 1, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014