As we enter Spring and the chance for severe weather increases, USD 470 wants to remind the community of the FEMA-approved storm shelters located at each of its elementary schools. Even though school buildings are closed, the school district will make every effort to open the shelters during a severe weather emergency.
The shelter areas, which include classroom additions and in one case, a gymnasium, have been open since 2010. All shelter areas meet FEMA standards and are built to withstand winds of an EF-5 tornado – approximately 250 mph. The safe rooms are reinforced with concrete, as well as steel doors and steel window shutters, to protect against debris projectiles.
A group of district employees and school neighbors serve as FEMA shelter supervisors in the event a severe weather incident happens when buildings would otherwise be closed. Recently, these individuals met to review the district’s shelter operations plan and procedures.
When severe weather is anticipated, shelter supervisors are alerted and know to be on the lookout. District administrators receive regular updates from emergency management officials and if/when a potential need for shelter arises, supervisors are given the OK to open shelters when they can. A green flag will be posted at the appropriate entrance to signify a safe room is open. Also, status updates will be posted to the district’s Facebook and Twitter feeds (@ArkCitySchools).
For the protection and safety of all, guests are asked to comply with all requests from FEMA shelter supervisors and remain inside the shelters until the severe weather threat has passed.
For more information about our storm shelters, visit www.usd470.com.
Adams; 1201 N. 10th (Southeast entrance) (Door C)
C-4 Elementary; 11945 292nd Rd. (Door F)
Frances Willard; 201 N. 4th (Door B)
IXL; 6758 322nd (Door A; back gym entrance is Door F)
Jefferson; 131 Osage (Door B)
Roosevelt; 300 N. B (Door A)