Broken Arrow Students Ride Out Storm In Safe Room

Tuesday, October 9th 2018, 7:05 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow students spent part of Tuesday in storm shelters while Tulsa County was under a tornado warning. 

Timber Ridge Elementary is one of two Broken Arrow schools with FEMA-certified safe rooms. It looks like your average school gym, but there is nothing average about it. 

"That is the highest level of certification that FEMA does. It provides near, absolute protection in an EF-5 tornado," said Charlie Hannema of Broken Arrow Public Schools.

As severe storms were rolling into Green Country October 9, students and teachers at Timber Ridge Elementary were pouring into the safe room.

10/9/2018 Related Story: Tulsa School Uses Storm Shelter For First Time Amid Severe Weather

"The music teacher today was kind of singing songs, and everybody was kind of singing along and just trying to stay as calm as they could," Hannema said.

It's the first time the safe room has been used because even though the safe rooms were built in 2017, there wasn't any severe weather during the school day.

"The piece of mind to be able to come in here and throw that giant door down and have everybody in one place, and know that they are going to be safe," said Charlie Hannema, BAPS.

The district also has a plan in place for schools without safe rooms.

"They are all visited by engineers from Safe Schools 101," he said. "So they will come out and evaluate where the safest areas are in each building."

Hannema said the district is planning on adding one of these safe rooms to each school they build in the future.