Schools working to keep community safe during severe weather - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Schools working to keep kids, community safe during severe weather

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Student practice a tornado safety drill. Student practice a tornado safety drill.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Over the past three years, northwest Ohio has seen enough severe spring weather to warrant special preparation at area schools. Chief Meteorologist Robert Shiels talked to local teachers and principals to find out how in some ways, schools can be safer than homes when severe weather strikes.

2010 Tornado

It has been nearly three years since a deadly tornado hit northwest Ohio. The powerful twister back in 2010 destroyed Lake High School along with a dozen Millbury homes and killed seven people. Lake Township and Millbury were the hardest hit.

[read more about the 2010 storm here]

Michele Pelz, principal at Toledo's Jones Elementary School, says that storm, the worst to hit northwest Ohio in 37 years, has had a big impact on her students.

"I think our older students are more aware of the severity of what a tornado can do because of what happened in Lake Township.  They saw it on the news; several volunteered," said Pelz.

2012 Wind Storm

Last year, on July 5, 2012 a strong thunderstorm brought straight line winds that gusted up to 89 miles per hour. That storm downed hundreds of tree limbs, damaged homes and killed a Springfield Township man.

After that storm, Springfield Local Schools partnered with area fire, police, sheriff, Red Cross and other agencies to create a safety program which provides shelter to the public during storms.

If you don't have a basement or underground shelter, officials will open certain schools so that people can seek shelter safely.

"If we do get to a level two tornado warning situation families can report to those buildings 24 hours a day," said Dorr Elementary School Principal Cheri Copeland-Shull.

Bonus content:

Learn how to create your own home safety kit for emergencies.

Search the Ohio Tornado Database.

Read about Springfield Local Schools' Safety Partnership Program.


Our certified most accurate weather team will be tracking every severe weather event for northwest Ohio - giving you the latest information you need to know to stay out of harm's way.

Stay connected to the latest weather changes and receive severe weather push alerts on your mobile device -- all with our Stormtrack Weather App:

StormTrack Weather for iPhone

StormTrack Weather for Android

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