Good Question: Public Tornado Shelters

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tonight on Good Question, with severe weather season upon us, I get several questions asking about public tornado shelters.

Jeff writes, “Where in north Wichita can our family go to be safe from the storms?”

Good question.

It’s a fear several people struggle with around this time of year: What if I don’t have a basement; where can I go to be safe?

There are no public storm shelters in Wichita. That doesn’t mean there are no options in worst-case scenarios. Several Wichita public schools have safe rooms. If you are nearby with no place to go, and the doors are not already locked, you can seek shelter in the school’s safe room. But school officials and emergency management experts say it should not be a part of your severe weather plan.

Having a plan is key, according to safety experts. If you do not have adequate shelter from a tornado, find a nearby location that does. Create an escape plan, and most importantly, pay attention to the weather and act early. For example, have a plan in place to seek shelter when a tornado watch is issued, instead of waiting for a warning. If you are caught inside a house without an available underground shelter, remember these basic guidelines: be as close to the ground as possible; be as far inside the building as possible; be away from doors, windows, and outside walls in as small a room as possible.

If you have a good question, send it to me at I’ll do my best to answer your good question every Thursday on KAKE News at 6.

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