Mid-Missouri Schools Lack Effective Tornado Shelters

3 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, May 21 2014 May 21, 2014 Wednesday, May 21, 2014 8:43:00 PM UTC May 21, 2014 in News
By: Jim Riek, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - This is a really good time to talk about tornadoes. Tuesday marked the anniversary of the Moore, Oklahoma EF5 tornado, and Thursday marks the third anniversary of the Joplin tornado. America's most deadly tornado in more than 60 years and America's most costly tornado ever.

In the Joplin area, FEMA tornado shelters are being built in several locations. That's not happening here in the middle of the state. There are three existing FEMA shelters close by: Linn, Holts Summit, and Mexico, Mo. Six other smaller communities have been approved and are awaiting construction. When you watch my KOMU story you suddenly realize school districts in the three most populous counties in our viewing area, Boone, Cole and Callaway, have no FEMA shelters.

The structural engineer in my story, Curtis Geise from Kansas City, went to Joplin a few weeks after the storm and was in charge of a study. He's very knowledgeable about the damage a tornado can inflict, "with the design codes of today, we would expect an EF1, possibly a low EF2, could hit the building if designed properly and constructed properly. Anything above EF2 we wouldn't expect many schools to last."

Geise said districts that can't afford a shelter should at least look at any alternative possible, "I think most schools need to have a professional come in and do an assessment of their school. In some instances, the hall might be the best place, but in other instances it may not. That's why you need a design professional to go in. They have FEMA criteria to review. They can go in and do an excellent job of reviewing what's there and provide input."

Even before the Joplin storm, Sedalia and Pettis counties became pro-active. There are nine FEMA shelters capable of housing about one forth of the county's population. The Emergency Preparedness Director Dave Clippert says building shelters is a cooperative effort, "I would recommend get with your schools, get with your community school and see what the city, county and school district can do to make that 25 percent. It doesn't have to be cold cash you give, you can give in kind donations and all kinds of stuff to do that."

When Columbia schools built the new gyms at Rock Bridge and Hickman, the district applied to FEMA for building tornado shelters. Columbia was turned down. However, the district has looked at alternatives instead of sending kids to the hallway during a tornado warning. It was obvious in the Joplin tornado, hallways became wind tunnels, and children would not have survived. In Columbia, the district operates 34 different school buildings with 34 different tornado plans. Not all kids are sent to the hallways.

Three years ago, everyone called Joplin a "game changer".. clearly mid-Missourians are paying more attention to tornado warnings and such, but very little is being done to protect kids at school. Enjoy the KOMU story, and get pro-active yourself. Find out where your kids go when there's a tornado warning at school. If you're not satisfied with the conditions, contact the school board and get answers. Thanks for your time!

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Around seven police units and one forensic unit were at the scene on Old Hawthorne Drive near Shallow... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM UTC December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:34:00 AM UTC December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Museums around Columbia hosted docent led tours Sunday, spreading awareness about their exhibits and art collections. Docents are... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:59:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - 2017 will mark the 140th Christmas the historic Maplewood House has seen from its home in south Columbia.... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:54:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MU Police Department, MU Greek Life, local businesses and residents made Operation Steal Back Christmas a huge success.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:31:00 PM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — After more than 20 years of providing resources and activities for home schooling, a southwest Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:38:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jordan Geist, a role player known most for his scrappy style, scored 28 points Saturday night... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:39:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Alyssa Schell joined the University of Missouri Police Department as a dispatcher in February, excited to be living out... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:28:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
CENTRALIA - A husband, wife and visiting grandchildren escaped a Saturday night house fire in Centralia, fire officials said. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 1:36:00 AM UTC December 10, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, say an 8-year-old boy has died after being hit by a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 11:35:21 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Students, staff and community members volunteered at University Village this morning to create a community garden, with the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 9:41:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia provides plenty of Christmas experiences for families to enjoy, but Columbia Access Television (CAT) offered a unique... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:38:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, the Patrick family watched news reports about the damage from their home... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:25:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With two years added to his contract, Mizzou football head coach Barry Odom will remain with the Tigers... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:15:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The first-degree murder trial of a 28-year-old Wisconsin man charged in the stabbing death of his Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 3:06:46 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- As winter approaches, cold temperatures are making their way back to Columbia, with lows this week consistently below freezing.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 09 2017 Dec 9, 2017 Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:37:00 PM UTC December 09, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
10am 49°
11am 49°
12pm 49°
1pm 52°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
11:00a
Rachael Ray
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld