The tornado is the most violent storm on Earth. A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air extending to the ground from a thunderstorm cloud. The path width of a tornado is usually very narrow, but can range up to a half-mile or more in the most extreme cases. Tornadoes usually only last a few minutes, but a few can last for much longer, traveling along the ground for several miles. Tornadoes can remain almost stationary, or can race across the countryside at speeds over 50 mph. Violent winds in and near the tornado can cause incredible destruction, and can generate flying debris, which is the main thing that hurts people in tornadoes.
Keeping informed about the weather is the best way to avoid being caught in a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Your local National Weather Service Forecast Office provides information about dangerous weather in your area, and you should keep a close eye on this information whenever storms threaten your area. A battery operated NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm feature should be a part of your information system!
It’s also critical that you think about tornado safety long before there’s a storm on the horizon, and plan what you will do to stay safe no matter where you may be when storms threaten.
When a severe storm or tornado threatens, remember these basic guidelines:
GET IN - get as far inside a strong building as you can, away from doors and windows
GET DOWN - get to the lowest floor
COVER UP - use whatever you can to protect yourself from flying or falling debris
- A reinforced underground storm shelter, storm cellar, enclosed basement or safe room are usually the safest places in a tornado. Underground shelters get you out of the way of flying and falling debris, which is a tornado’s most lethal weapon.
- If you cannot get underground, remember the basic guidelines. Get as far inside the strongest building you can find. Stay away from doors, windows and other openings to the outside. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
- Get as low as you can. Go to the lowest floor of the building you’re in.
- Cover up to protect yourself from flying and falling debris. Use whatever you can find - pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses. Wearing a helmet or hardhat will help protect your head from debris.
- Being outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle are all unsafe in a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Find stronger shelter before the storm arrives and remember to get in, get down and cover up.
- Tornado Project Online has a weath of tornado information as well as with tornado myths, tornado oddities, personal experiences, tornado chasing and tornado safety.
- FEMA Are You Ready? This site has terms and tips for what to do before and during a tornado and preparing a safe room.
- American Red Cross: Tornado suggests how to prepare a home tornado plan, assemble a disaster supplies kit and what to do before, during and after a tornado.
- Historical information on Oklahoma tornadoes.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Tornadoes.
- FEMA tornado site for kids.
Emergency Management Training Opportunities
As many of you are aware, our school has received an emergency management grant from the federal government. Part of this grant requires that we encourage parents and the community to complete several emergency management trainings. Below are the links to several of the emergency management trainings which are available online. These trainings are sponsored by FEMA, and can be utilized in any emergency situation!
NIMS 100 http://emilms.fema.gov/IS100b/index.htm
NIMS 700 http://emilms.fema.gov/IS700aNEW/index.htm
Emergency Preparedness Education
Porter Schools Emergency Plan
OBJECTIVE OF THIS GUIDE
Porter Consolidated Schools recognizes our responsibility for the safety of the students that extends to natural and man made disasters and that such emergencies are best met by planning and preparedness.
Objective of this guide:
- To provide a standardized, minimum emergency procedure plan that will assist school officials with both ethical and legal responsibilities to their students, peers, and community in times of emergency.
- To provide suggestions for meeting minor emergencies, as well as recommendations for action during natural disasters as well as man made disasters.
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STAFF
The principal shall supervise all procedures during the initial stages of the emergency. As soon as the nature of the emergency is identified, he/shall should also made sure that:
- The appropriate alarm or signal is sounded.
- Procedures to ensure the safety of the students are being implemented.
- Proper authorities and agencies are notified
- Internal communication channels are established with in the building in the district level
- Planned role assignments reinforced.
- External communications are established with parents, emergency personnel and media
- An administrator/designee will be on the site during the emergency.
- Every teacher will become familiar with the alarm signals and react calmly and immediately. If evacuation is necessary, make sure that the process is as orderly and prompt as necessary. Also made sure that all windows and doors are closed and that the students are relocated in the designated areas appropriate to the nature of the emergency.
- Every teacher should have grade books or class rosters at all times during an emergency. The roster should include an alphabetical list of all students enrolled.
- If a hazard to the safety of students and adults is identified, or if students or adults are in danger in any way, the first priority of the teachers is to take whatever action is prudent or necessary for the safety of the students. The second priority is to notify the office as soon as possible.
- Teachers should not leave students unattended under any circumstances.
- All staff not immediately responsible for students should go to the office at the onset of an emergency to receive directions from the Principal.
- Any emergency related to the kitchen operation of the cafeteria should be reported to the main office immediately.
- When an alarm sounds, all cafeteria personnel must evacuate the kitchen area immediately. All windows and doors should be shut, and all stoves and ovens should be turned off. Personnel should prepare to evacuate to an assigned area if the need arises.
- If students are present in the cafeteria, cafeteria personnel should assist the teacher in evacuating the students.
- If the emergency involves the evacuation of teachers and students form the school, cafeteria personnel should be ready to evacuate.
HEALTH SERVICES INFORMATION SHEET
PROPER PROCEDURES FOR PROTECTION FROM BODY FLUIDS
These standard precautions are good health practices that protect against a variety of infections (hepatitis A & B, mononucleosis, meningitis, encephalitis, and other contagious diseases). These procedures specifically address the issue of possible contact with the AIDS/HIV virus.
. Body Spills: Blood from nose, mouth, or skin lacerations.
. Body Fluids: Includes blood spills, menstrual blood, as well as urine, feces, vomit, diarrhea, mucous, semen, and saliva (due to possible blood trace).
. Latex or Vinyl Gloves: Always used when coming in contact with any of the above. Gloves should not be reused.
. Solutions: Commercially prepared disinfectants include: Isopropyl alcohol, Hydrogen peroxide, Bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water).
. Do not place solutions on body orifices. Avoid contact with eyes. Store all chemicals out of the reach of children.
Instruction on fire, tornado and lock-down drills will be discussed with the students. These instructions are to be posted on a bulletin board in each teacher’s room and should be available to students at all times.
The tornado alert will be two short rings, then a continuous ring from the normal bell system for each building.
“Watch” means conditions are favorable for tornado or severe weather.
“Monitor” means take action as needed.
“Warning” means tornado may be imminent. Take shelter, Monitor weather reports continuously.
1. Radio Broadcast and the building weather alert radio should be monitored in the school office.
2.Warning signal will be *continuous short rings on the indoor bell system. Or * announcement in the hallway by the Principal or designee
Steps of Action
1. Students should proceed to their designated area and proceed in a kneeling position against the wall with their hands covering their heads.
2. Persons in unsafe locations and prefabs should seek cover in the main building.
3. Teachers are to close classroom doors.
4. Teachers should keep their class roster with them and kneel behind the students to make sure they are following the proper procedure and verify student count.
5. Wait for all clear signals before returning to the classroom
6. Avoid large open areas such as the gym or cafeteria.z
7. In an outside office, blinds are to be closed on the windows, and office personnel are
to use telephone in the inner office away from glass walls in the secretary's area.
8. A battery operated radio should be located within hearing distance of office
personnel, if at all possible.
School Buses: 1. School buses will not be loaded in case of a tornado warning at dismissal time.
2. Drivers will remain at the school until the warning has cleared.
3. If traveling within the district when a tornado warning is issued the driver will continue to the nearest school, unload students and take cover until the warning is cleared.
4. Contact the transportation department to inform them of your location.
5. If traveling and a tornado is present, stop & pull the bus over.
6. Notify the school of the impending danger and give location.
7. Evacuate bus and escort students to the nearest building, ditch, or ravine.
8. If in a building, students should go to the middle of the building and cover their heads with their hands. If the students are in a ditch or ravine, they should lie down and cover their heads with their hands.
9. Students should not be located with the bus between them and the approaching tornado. They should be far enough away to prevent the bus from rolling on them.
Principal—Supervise the student body and remain in contact with staff.
Secretary---Stay close to the phones in the office
******Recommended number of drills per year—one in the fall and one in the spring****
The fire alarm will be a continuous ring. Classes should evacuate the building as designated by the evacuation process posted in your classroom and in the handbook. Classes should stay together and the teacher should take roll book to call roll upon evacuation. Classrooms should be closed but not locked.
Signal: Continuous ringing of fire alarm. In case of loss of electrical power, the signal will be a serious of blast on a horn in the hall ways.
Steps of Action:
- Report fire to the office, activate alarm/use intercom or a phone if available.
- Office Staff---call 911 and assist with verbal notification in building if needed.
- Turn off lights
- After exiting the classroom, close doors to contain fire.
- Evacuate the building to an assigned place at least 500 feet from the building. (See evacuation plan in each classroom.)
- In case of blocked exit, find next closest exit.
- Take class list of students.
- Restrooms, hallways and unoccupied rooms will be checked by the custodian or secretary.
- Teachers will double check their room to insure total evacuation.
- Supervise evacuation and check for injuries
- Assign roles to auxiliary personnel as needed.
- phone 911: Notify Superintendent at 918-483-2401
- Notify other building located on sight
- Take emergency student list with home phone numbers to the command post.
- Evacuate and remain with students
- Take roll
- Assist the Evacuation
- Report to the Principal at the central command post
- Check bathrooms and other spaces for people
- Establish a command post and assist with off site evacuation
******Recommended number of drills per year----4
INTRUDER/LOCK DOWN PROCEDURES
- All authorized visitors must wear a visitor’s badge
- School personnel must stop any stranger without a badge and inquire about his/her business in the building or on school ground. If the visitor’s reason is appropriate, he/she must be escorted to the office and sign in to receive a badge. If it is not possible to escort the visitor personally, staff should contact the office.
- If the stranger is in a classroom, use the intercom or send a student to the office for help.
- If any person posses a threat to the safety of the students or staff, the office personnel should contact the police and the Principal should initiate lock-down procedures.
Lock Down Procedures
1. Make a special announcement over the intercom system announcing a “lock down” is in effect.
2. Facilitate the pre-planned staff response to the emergency.
3. Insure all students (inside and outside) are taken to protected place and doors are closed.
4. Announce. “all is clear.”
- Move children into classrooms, away from doors and windows.
- Turn off lights
- Ensure that students who are outside are directed to go inside the building or to drop to the ground if necessary. They are to remain there until the “all clear” is given.
- Stay with and protect children. Call roll
- Provide first aid if necessary.
- Call police
- When notifying authorities, advise if there is a weapon and give a description of the person by noting clothes, gender, age. Etc.
*******Conduct a drill two times a year----early in the first semester and the second semester.
The Lock Down Alert will be conducted over the intercom system. To initiate the Lock Down Drill the message will be announced, “The school will now go into lockdown”.
The Lock Down Drill will initiate immediately upon the announcement. Students will be directed away from the windows and from the doorway. The lights will be turned off and the students directed to remain calm and quiet. The teacher will lock the doors and close any blinds or windows which may be open. To initiate the “All Clear” an announcement will be given over the intercom.
Bomb threat planning is very important. Each staff member should be aware of the building pre-determined code (see #5 below) and procedure for handing a bomb threat. The procedure should also include a staff search plan, because police officers are unable to determine what does and what does not belong in a classroom or building. Only employees familiar with their surroundings can spot an item out of place with its environment.
Consideration must be given regarding the most secure location for students and staff when deciding to evacuate or remain in the building. According to the Tulsa Police Bomb Squad, the classroom may be the most secure place for students to remain in even in the even a bomb explodes. Students exiting the building may be in more imminent danger in the hallways or just outside the building.
The Bomb Threat.
- If a threat is received by telephone, the person taking the call should try to keep the caller on the line as long as possible to obtain as many details as possible. Complete the checklist.
- Alert the Principal/ building administrator. (If possible, do so while the caller is still on the line.)
- Notify the Superintendent office 918-483-2401.
- After evaluating the information from the call, the Principal will decide whether to evacuate. (If the caller appears to have been a student, or if there are indications that the call was made from within the building (during a major testing period) the Principal may want to delay the evacuation plan and institute the search plan. If, however, the caller describes the bomb in detail and is willing to talk about it, the building should be evacuated.
- Evacuation will be initiated.
- When hearing the code, employees immediately inspect the area in which they work.
- Teachers inspect the classroom.
- Food Service employees inspect the kitchen area
- Building engineers and custodians inspect their closets, restrooms, and mechanical rooms.
- Designate staff members inspect halls and commons area.
- After each area is searched, the Principal should be notified.
- If anything unusual is found, do not touch or attempt to open or move it. Immediately notify the Principal. The principal will contact the bomb squad. The Principal should then evacuate the building.
High School Evacuation Drill
A situation may occur in which an evacuation of students and school staff must be implemented. If such a need arises the following steps will be followed.
1. School goes into Lockdown. Staff will follow all school lockdown procedures.
2. If such a need to evacuate becomes necessary a “Evacuation Process” will be announced over the intercom.
3. Once “Evacuation Process” has been initiated, all staff will make sure that all students are accounted for, a class roster is in hand, and staff awaits a building administrator to come to your classroom to instruct you to evacuate your students to the predetermined location.
4. Once the administrator has determined that the evacuation is necessary, you will proceed to the designated areas. Do not evacuate until an administrator comes to your door and gets you.
5. Students and staff will be evacuated to a predetermined location. After you have arrived at this location, assemble your students and take roll. Students will remain with the teacher. The teacher will assemble their class alphabetically.
6. Once parents/guardians arrive, Brenda and Diann will have a parental release book on location. No staff member will release a student to a parent/guardian. Brenda and Diann will have form/book on location to release students at this time.
Elementary Evacuation Drill
An evacuation is one which may require transportation of students to a safe site. The Principal will inform the staff by intercom announcing “Evacuation Process”. The staff will immediately go into lock-down making sure all students are accounted for. If instructed to evacuate, the teachers will take class roll with them and board buses to evacuate.
When a child is abducted from school, the incident may or may not be witnessed. In either case, it is important that facts are gathered and assessed quickly to determine the best course of actions.
Recommended steps to follow:
- If abduction is witnessed, contact a School Official. Gather facts about the abduction and a description of the abductor from witnesses. If not witnessed, verify that the child is missing; search the building.
- In a student runaway situation, follow the student, if possible, and/ or contact a school official or police.
- Have photo (available in the principal’s office) and a description of what the student was wearing to provide to the police.
- Notify parent/guardians. Notify the Superintendent, 918-483-2401.
- Principal should work with the counselor and decide a plan of action.
- Meet with faculty. Advise teachers about sharing appropriate information with students.
- Visit classroom if requested.
- Ask police about what information may be released.
- Prepare fact sheet for those answering phone inquiries.
- If concern exists about additional abductions, send letters home to parents. Consult with administration before sending letters home.
- Prepare classmates to be supportive when the child returns.
- Provide follow-up counseling if needed.
School Bus Drivers
- If a student is abducted, contact the school immediately and gather any facts about the abduction and a description of the abductor from all witnesses.
- If you witness a runaway, contact the school immediately. Gather any facts about the student and follow the student if possible.
Steps of Action:
- In case of injury/illness call the Porter Police. In case of injury or illness on the school bus, driver should notify the school.
- Contact emergency services and parent/guardian if necessary
- The situation should be assessed for personal risk factors prior to assistance/intervention.
- Gloves must be worn if blood is present.
- Do not move or allow movement for an injured person
- If emergency services are called, notify the superintendent’s office at 918-483-2401
REPORTING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE
Oklahoma’s School Law and State Statutes defines “abuse and neglect” as harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare by a person responsible for the child’s health or welfare. “Child” is defined as a person under the age of eighteen. The law requires any person who believes that a child has been abused or neglected to report the matter to the Department of Institutions, Social and Rehabilitative Services. To knowingly and willingly fail to do so is a misdemeanor. The anonymity of all persons reporting child abuse cases is to be protected.
The procedure to be followed by the teaching staff is as follows:
The person suspecting child abuse of any nature, physical or mental, will report his/her suspicions to the principal who will consult the counselor and take appropriate action as required by law and district policy.
CHILD ABUSE REPORTING
State Statutes and Board policy #5616 require reporting concerns regarding injury resulting from physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. Reporting is to be directed to the Department of Human Services. DHS.
Steps of Action:
- Any adult to whom the report is made should notify nurse, counselor or Principal. Nurse and counselor should coordinate if available. All support employees who do not work at a school site, but who know of or suspect injury resulting from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect must report it to their department director who will forward the information to the school. To maintain the child’s confidentiality, bus drivers should not use bus radios to report the information.
- Nurse, counselor, and or Principal should confer with student, document all information as requested on child abuse report forms, telephone DHS, and file all written reports in confidential manner within 48 hours. The name of the DHS worker must be recorded on the child abuse report form. The school counselor should have these forms.
- The DHS employee should meet with the student and determine if law enforcement should be notified.
- If a child is to be removed from the home or school. DHS personnel or police officers should notify the parents. The police can admit a child to the emergency shelter.
- Maintain the child and family’s confidentiality.
- The principal shall maintain the official, locked, and confidential file until the child leaves the school site. The file shall follow the student from school to school within the district until his/her graduation. The file shall be destroyed when the student reaches 18 years of age.
Department of Human Services 918-485-4101
DEATH OF A STUDENT OR STAFF MEMBER
Steps of Action: When The Death Occurs Away From School
- The principal shall notify the counselor, crisis team, Superintendent and implement the school phone tree to inform faculty and staff of the situation.
- The Principal shall schedule a staff meeting to decide how and when to inform the student body and their parents and to discuss the daily plan of action. Whenever possible, the Principal shall meet with the school crisis team prior to meeting with the staff.
Steps Of Action: When the Death Occurs At School
- The Principal notifies (a) counselor and crises team. (b) parent or staff member’s nearest relative.
- The area immediately surrounding the individual is secured and closed off, making sure that nothing is touched or moved until authorities have arrived.
- If in the classroom, other students are directed to another room. A counselor should be assigned to that room to assist.
- If in the hallway, restroom, lobby or commons area, or outside the building, the area immediately surrounding is blocked off and students are directed away from and around the area.
- Crisis team member shall assist with directing on-lookers and emergency personnel.
- Team members shall also assist with parents and other individual who may be immediately affected by the situation.
Steps Of Action: Whether Death Occurs Away or At School
- Make a crisis room available and staff with counselors as long as needed. Students/employees who appear extremely upset should be escorted to the room or counselor’s office. Particular attention should be paid to friends of the deceased and persons with recent losses or a history of suicide threats or attempts.
- The staff should meet at the end of the day to discuss the events of the day and any addition information
- Give factual information to the media and prepare a fact sheet for telephone inquiries. (All media calls may be directed the Superintendent’s office.)
- Determine the most effective method to inform parents about the death, what the school is doing, and what reaction to expect from their child.
- Relay additional information (funeral information, etc.) as it becomes available
- Plan for how to cover classrooms/assignments should several teachers/staff members request to attend the funeral.
- Plan follow-up counseling for student/staff.
Counselor: Christy McCollough 918-483-7691/ Cell 918-724-4862
Tracy Fenton 918-682-6474 / 918-683-0763
Dr. Henry Petree 918-816-1507—918-681-6411
Steps to follow: Student out of control
1. If the situation allows, call office for help.
2. Move other students out of the classroom.
3. Send a student to bring in another teacher or adult for help.
4. Talk to the student in a calm manner. Use team approach. School Crisis Team members can
assist in helping the student gain control.
5. Unless you have adequate training in restraint holding, do not attempt to restrain.
6. Document event in writing for Principal's files.
Steps to follow: Weapons in classroom
- If the situation allows, call office for assistance.
- Take measures to protect self and students as necessary.
- Do not struggle to get weapon.
- Do not make quick moves. Look students in the eye and talk in a calm manner.
- Principal will call officers or police as needed.
- Principal or designee will report incident to the Superintendent.
- Document event in writing for Principal’s files.
Steps to follow: Anger or Potential violent visitor:
- Ask visitor to return to office.
- Call office for assistance. Use (lock down) procedure if visitor is violent or threatening.
- Principal will determine if lock down in required.
- Principal will call police if needed.
- Document event in writing for Principal’s files
- Principal should report incident to the Superintendent.
Steps to follow: Neighborhood Crisis
- Principal may delay school dismissal until safety of students is insured.
- Office personnel informs Superintendent and transportation department.
- District and site crisis teams will respond to parent calls.
Any district personnel with reason to believe, by direct or indirect knowledge that a student is making homicidal threats must refer that student to the school Principal. Any transportation personnel with reason to believe, by direct or indirect knowledge that a student is making homicidal threats must that day, refer the student to the transportation department.
Three reasons for a homicidal threat policy.
- Protect threatened students
- Protect school district
- Help student who made threat---serious offense.
Steps of Action: If a student threatens to kill someone
- The Principal shall speak to the student involved
- The Principal completes the homicidal threat form.
- The principal shall call the parent of the students involved
- The Principal shall take disciplinary action
- If the threat takes place on a school bus, the driver shall talk to the students involved and contact the transportation director.
- The bus driver shall complete the homicidal threat form and keep the students on the bus
- The transportation office will contact the school and then advice the driver when to release the students.
If a student threatens to kill someone and expresses the means to carry it out or If a student threatens to kill someone and has in his/her possession the means by which to carry out the threat.
- If there is reason to believe that there is a weapon involved, the Principal shall call the police immediately
- The Principal shall speak to the students involved.
- The Principal shall call the parent of the students involved.
- The Principal shall complete the homicidal threat form and the witness form.
- The Principal shall take appropriate disciplinary action
- If the threat takes place on a school bus, the driver shall contact the transportation office immediately
- The bus driver shall talk to the student involved and keep the aggressor calm.
- The driver should not try to take the weapon from the student, but should wait for the police.
Any district personnel with the reason to believe by direct or indirect knowledge that a student is at risk for suicide must immediately refer the student to the school counselor for intervention and notify the Principal. Assistance from other member of the building crisis intervention team may be requested to complete the assessment scale. Any transportation employee with the reason to believe, by direct or indirect knowledge, that a student is at risk must immediately report it to the transportation office, who will contact the school.
- After the potential suicide risk level has been assessed, the counselor must notify the parent/guardian.
- If a situation is one to be judged of moderate or high suicide, the student may not leave school grounds unless a conference is held with the parent/guardian.
- The parent/guardian will be apprized of the seriousness of the situation and will be required to sign a Crisis Referral Intervention Form which indicates that they have been notified of the situation and the schools recommendations.
- A student Referral for Free Initial Assessment Form will be completed by the counselor and given to the parent/guardian to be given to the parent/guardian to be given to the Mental Health Provider.
- In serious cases if the parent refuses to seek evaluation, the counselor shall contact a school resources officer or police to escort the student to Tulsa County Youth Services shelter for an emergency assessment. The counselor will then contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to file a report of neglect.
- If the student’s parent/guardian can not be reached by pursuing the emergency numbers on file, and if school has ended, contact a School Resource Officer or police to transport the student to Tulsa County Youth Services Shelter or DHS Protected Shelter in Tulsa
- If the student’s parent/guardian cannot be reached and the team has determined that the student’s condition is critical, the student will be hospitalized for up to 72 hours without a parent/guardian consent. Call a School Resource Officer or police to arrange this.
3. When necessary, the school counselor and crisis team will provide follow up monitoring by assigning a Student Support Team and may have the student complete the No-Suicide Contract.
Suicide hotline 1-800-784-2433
Reachout hotline 1-800-522-9054
Teen line 1-800-522-8336