WFISD Schools Are Prepared For Tornados

WFISD Schools Are Prepared For Tornados

Having to worry about their kid's school being in a tornado's line of fire is every parents worst nightmare.

But if any school in the Wichita Falls Independent School District was in its path, officials say students would be safe. All WFISD teachers get trained on what to do in case of an emergency.

"Then we select some safe areas inside the school and then after that we actually hold live drills with the children and we time how long it takes them to get in position and to get to their safe areas," said Bill Horton, WFISD's director of security.

It would take students and staff at Southern Hills Elementary School under a minute to take cover in their tornado safe room. Two other schools in the district have one just like it. It has double concrete walls and an additional six inch concrete slab on top. But if the school doesn't have this kind of shelter, students go somewhere else.

"You have to take into consideration, are there glass windows close by. We like interior hallways. We get them to the second floor down on ground level," said Horton.

The interior hallways have walls and ceilings that are built stronger. WFISD officials say their safety plan actually kicks off as soon as our area is under a tornado watch.

Horton says, "We look at the weather. We keep in contact in communications with everyone who is involved with the weather and we can listen to the spotters that are out there. Then we communicate to our schools what we're going to do."

But the WFISD does have a concern and that's portable buildings.

WFISD's Executive Director of District Operations says, "They're not as structurally sound as the interior buildings are so bringing them into the primary school is best for their safety."

Officials will be studying the disaster reports from the schools in Moore once they're released to find out if there's something else they need to do to improve school buildings here.

The Texas School Safety Center, in collaboration with Region 9 Education Service Center, will be hosting a free School Safety Summit. The featured topic will include improving safety in Texoma schools. The summit will be at the Region 9 Education Service Center at 301 Loop 11 from 9a.m-4p.m.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6