The Norman Transcript

Headlines

June 22, 2013

Poll indicates schools need storm shelters

NORMAN — More than three in four Oklahoma voters support the idea of requiring all primary schools to have tornado shelters and providing taxpayer-funded rebates to people who install shelters in their homes.

But a solid majority does not think builders should be required to add tornado shelters to all new homes, according to a newly-released survey by SoonerPoll.com. The telephone survey of 402 likely voters suggests taxpayers may be willing to pick up at least part of the tab for providing more security for schoolchildren and home dwellers in the wake of last month’s deadly tornadoes.

While Oklahomans appear wary of a government directive that could add to the cost of new homes, the survey shows substantial support for a state mandate to protect younger students who can’t be released from school to go home during a storm.

So far, Oklahoma leaders have been reluctant to embrace the idea of state-mandated school or home shelters. Gov. Mary Fallin ruled out a mandate in an interview with KFOR-TV earlier this month, citing the high cost of adding safe rooms to all schools.

But state Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood told Oklahoma Watch that Fallin and other officials were receptive to the idea of designing a voluntary program that would pool enough local, state, federal and private funds to install shelters in all schools.

In the view of some SoonerPoll participants, the state needs to do something.

“In my opinion, the weather’s just going to get worse,” said Mona Nelson, 48, of Norman. “If the goal is to protect lives, everyone’s going to need a place to go … We’re going to have to come up with some solution and some way to help finance the cost of getting us all a place to be safe.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014