Education

Tornado Evacuations, Emergency Plans Continue at North Penn

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A grainy single frame grab from a camcorder tape of an F1 tornado near Secor, Illinois 5/30/04. Creative Commons license. Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lindenbaum/
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School safety never ends in the eyes of North Penn School District Safe Schools Coordinator, and retired Hatfield Township Police Lieutenant, Ray Wilson and his staff, be it terrorist or twister.

Right now, Wilson is continuing work on a protocol emergency plan for the district, one designed from a template by the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety.

The emergency plan will rollout soon at Montgomery Elementary at the behest of Principal Dr. Sean Arney.

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“(Arney) wanted to start the ball rolling on the template from the county,” Wilson told the Safe Schools Committee Monday. He said he is finalizing plans to premiere it at Montgomery Elementary.

“(The template) can be tailored to each school,” Wilson said. “We’ll be able to take it to another school and plug new things in there.”

As of Monday, more than half of North Penn’s 18 schools had completed evacuation training.

“We’ve run into glitches where the evacuation points are, and we have to cross roads. The police are good at helping with those,” Wilson said.

The Safe Schools program also trains in reverse evacuations at elementary recesses.

“We haven’t done a lot with them before, but we work on them. At recess, if there’s an intruder in the building, you do not want to come back in. We are doing reverse and general evacuations to see how long it takes to get kids out of school to get on buses to get them home,” Wilson said.

Safe Schools Committee member Carolyn Murphy asked about the successes of tornado drills in the schools. Wilson reported that the drills are “three-quarter of the way done.”

Support Services Manager John Strobel said most schools have scheduled drills for May 12 and May 13.

“Every school does them. They are working out good,” Wilson said.

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