storm shelter

Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon March 3, 2014

A Battle Of Words: School Shelter Hearing Goes To State Supreme Court

Take Shelter Oklahoma spent Fall 2013 gathering signatures for its initiative petition and State Question 767. The group fell short by more than 30,000.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

When the school shelter advocacy group Take Shelter Oklahoma formed several months ago, its goal was simple: to obtain enough signatures to get a $500 million bond issue on the ballot and use that money to build safe rooms in schools to protect kids from tornadoes. 

The group’s path has become a winding one, the most recent turn was at the State Supreme Court in a fight against Attorney General Scott Pruitt. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
1:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Fight For Safe Rooms Leads To Oklahoma Supreme Court

Credit hyku / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kathy Turner works with Take Shelter Oklahoma.  The group wants to build safe rooms to protect students from tornadoes like the one that destroyed Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools in Moore.  Turner says her experience as a former school administrator showed her how important government funding can be.

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Ahead of the Storm
8:44 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Parents, Officials Search For Solution To Oklahoma School Shelter Scarcity

Danni Legg transferred her children to Kelley Elementary in Moore, the only elementary school in the district with a safe area for tornadoes.
Credit Kate Carlton

Danni Legg transferred her two kids to Kelley Elementary this past August. She moved them from Plaza Towers Elementary, after the tornado in May destroyed the school, causing the death of her middle child, Christopher, along with six other students.  Legg says returning to Moore after the tragedy was something she did for her children. 

"I wanted my children to understand the town didn't kill their brother," Legg said. "A tornado and the lack of good construction in the building is what killed their brother."

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:47 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Mapped: Which Oklahoma Schools Have Storm Shelters

Red dots indicate schools without shelters. Green dots are schools with shelters.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The results of a statewide survey released Thursday show 62 percent of Oklahoma’s 1,804 public schools don’t have storm shelters, and only 15 percent have shelters built to withstand the 250 mph winds of an EF5 tornado, like the ones that swept through central Oklahoma in May 2013.

StateImpact has mapped the data from the survey, the first statewide accounting of public school storm shelters, which was conducted by Bar None Consulting for the Oklahoma Legislature’s use in an interim study.

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State Capitol
1:17 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

UPDATE: Group Launches Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot Drive

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Organizers have launched a signature-gathering campaign for a $500 million bond issue to put storm shelters in public schools.

The group Take Shelter Oklahoma filed a petition on Wednesday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office to get the issue on a statewide ballot. Once the ballot language is given final approval by the attorney general, supporters have 90 days to gather about 155,000 signatures of registered voters.

The plan calls for the debt service on the bond issue to be paid by the annual franchise tax levied on businesses.

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May 2013 Tornado Coverage
1:31 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

School Year Begins In Moore, Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the damage of Plaza Tours Elementary School in Moore in the days after the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Meghna Chakrabarti's conversation with Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines.

Students are back in school in Moore, Oklahoma, nearly three months after a deadly tornado tore through town.

The storm killed a total of 25 people, including seven third-graders who had hunkered down at the Plaza Towers Elementary School with their teachers.

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May 2013 Tornado Coverage
8:23 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Oklahoma School Districts Consider Adding Storm Shelters

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Today is the first day of school for students in Moore, Oklahoma. It is a bittersweet return. Nearly three months ago, a tornado tore through that small community. The storm destroyed hundreds of buildings, including two elementary schools. Seven students and 18 other people died. The storm has fueled a debate about why there aren't more storm shelters in the heart of Tornado Alley. Across Oklahoma, there's no statewide plan to put shelters in schools.

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Severe Storms
12:43 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Shelter Permits Sought In Norman After Tornadoes

Credit benchilada / Flickr Creative Commons

Norman residents are applying to build storm shelters in the wake of deadly tornadoes that struck in Moore and other nearby areas.  

The May 19 and 20 tornadoes killed dozens in Moore and other Oklahoma City metro areas just north of Norman.

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