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Were there storm shelters at those Elementary Schools?

Watching the devastation is breaking my heart. The Children being reunited with their families. My question is if this has already happened before in 1999 then were there storm shelters in place for these children & Teachers? Why would they not have put them in place? Ones placed in the ground I mean? Like a Mandatory building code for schools in Tornado prone areas or retrofitting since 1999??


Asked by ILovemyPaulie at 1:24 PM on May. 21, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (27)
  • they have concrete walls and cinder block safety rooms and newer schools are built with tornado shelters in every section. however, its next to impossible to build shelters underground big enough for students b/c of the cost. the red clay here causes the dirt to swell & shift with the weather. if you saw the footage of the destruction that mud is a bitch. however, small personal underground shelters are easy to do...they're still only 5X7 and those cost $ imagine building one for a school of 500. some of the high schools do have classrooms that are underground.

    some of the children drowned b/c they were trapped by damage. the 4-6th graders at Plaza Towers were evacuated, but they only have 10-15 mins to do this. the took the older kids b/c they listen better and move quicker. ive lived here 10 years now and this is the first F4-5 we've had in town...its not a super common thing.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:57 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • sadly no. School funding is already at an all time low why on earth would they actually care about putting stuff like tat in place to save children? They care more about money then the lives of people/children.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 1:43 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • I have watched the news. I have also lived in the area. You can put in a basement or storm shelter at a very great expense. Anything can be done if you have enough money. You can drill and break through tons of rock or make the basement wall so extremely think it can work. It is not done as a routine. Is that better phrased? There are minutes to get to shelter in most tornado strikes. You have watches (conditions that can nurture a tornado and warnings where tornados have been sighted. This is not like a wall of water that is going to hit this expanse of land give or take on each edge. This is more like a lighting strike. It is up there and you know it, but not where it will strike.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:16 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • If you are not in tornado country you do not realize that the conditions can be right many times and nothing come of it. You can not really predict where a tornado will touch down either even though you may be in the path. The children and adult go into the hallways away from the windows. There are drills several times a year. Tornados are unpredictable. So you hear that there has been a touch down in the next town. You evacuate the kids and they are on the road when it hits. Not smart. Most homes are not as sturdy as a school either.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:39 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • It's not like hurricane warnings when you have days and weeks to prepare or evacuate. And there's not way of knowing for certain when and where a tornado will strike until it's on the ground. 15-20 minutes is not enough to evacuate students, and most other tornadoes would have only caused minor damage compared to that EF4/EF5. EF4 and EF5 tornadoes aren't very prevalent, and there is no way of knowing until after they are on the ground how big and destructive they are. Could you imagine how expensive it would be to put in a store cellar large enough to hold all those students?

    Answer by mommy_jules at 1:50 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • The one school did have a basement and students died there. When a tornado is as nasty as this one was it is a miracle the death toll wasn't higher. Seems like all was done that could be done to protect the people in Moore. Moving forward I am sure they will try to do better but when it comes to tornadoes there isn't anything that is 100 percent. My sister and her family died in a tornado years ago. She was in a very nice storm shelter but it flooded and debris on the outside wouldn't allow them to get out so they all drowned. Her neighbors didn't have a storm shelter and they survived in a bathtub. I think when it is someones time to go nothing is going to prevent it from happening.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:58 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • Like Dard said, you could be trapped under debris and drown. I live about 8 miles from where the tornado hit and my street was flooded with waist high water. They could work, but then again they might actually cause more deaths. Schools are usually the safest place to go. They're built very well, but in a case like this it doesn't matter how well things are built.

    Answer by Hollyhock. at 2:01 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • its similar to the tornado that hit Joplin high school. the students should have been safe in the reinforced concrete hallways, but sometimes mother nature is able to produce something we just cant protect ourselves from.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:07 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • okay. a state school board man just talked about school safe rooms. turns out these 2 schools did not have top of the line safe rooms b/c the local jurisdiction could only pick a handful of schools. the city of Moore recently passed a bond issue that included safe rooms for ever school, but they wont be underground.

    also, neither elementary school has a basement. the children that drown were in a classroom.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:11 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • Because the water table is too high. The storm shelter would flood and drown everyone in it.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:30 PM on May. 21, 2013