Summer of 2016 is drawing to a close. Schools have started back all across the nation. Now is the time we begin to refocus our efforts on the best way to protect our most important asset as a nation: Our children. They are our future, and we are their heritage. What have we left them? What will they remember about us? Will our school children remember that we, as a nation, made sure that, when it counted, we provided a community storm shelter for their school?Many of our children heading back to school, especially those within tornado alley, know the fears that haunt them whenever tornado season rolls around and they have no real safe place to go. They may be on the playground, at lunch, or even in one of their favorite classes when a tornado siren screams, and the scramble begins.
How easy would it be to save the lives of school children with a community storm shelter already in place?
There is no better peace of mind for children knowing they have some place to safely ride out the storm. This allows them to focus on learning, making friendships, and making school memories. Parents also are afforded peace of mind knowing their child will be protected from any sudden tornadoes. And as far as the school staff? Well it just makes their job easier!The old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” has never been more true in the case of government funding. The ones with the loudest cry usually gets their need met first! Many of the schools throughout tornado alley can present their need for a community storm shelter to their State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO). And there are various types of funding available. All you have to do is research.According to FEMA, once such source is Community Development Block Grant Funds.“On December 3, 2003, the President signed into law the Tornado Shelters Act (Public Law 108-146), which amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, authorizing communities to use community development block grant funds to construct tornado-safe shelters in manufactured home parks. To be eligible, a shelter must be located in a neighborhood or park that contains at least 20 units; consists predominately of low- and moderate-income households and is in a state where a tornado has occurred within the current year or last three years. The shelter must comply with tornado-appropriate safety and construction standards, be large enough to accommodate all members of the park/neighborhood and be located in a park/neighborhood that has a warning siren.”
If you know of a school that is in need of a community storm shelter, encourage the school officials to seek out assistance, and protect our children.