ECISD Has A Plan In Place For Severe Weather

ECISD Has A Plan In Place For Severe Weather

ECISD Police Chief feels confident in disaster preparedness
ODESSA -- When Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma got rocked by a tornado Monday afternoon, nine children ultimately lost their lives.

The teachers did everything they had been trained to do, but in some cases, that wasn't enough.

That begs the question: What plans are in place in the rare event that severe weather strikes right here in the Permian Basin?

ECISD Police Chief Mark Rowden says they have drills in which children are moved to central areas in the school, away from the exterior of the building and toward more structurally sound areas.

Rowden says the district has plans in place for all types of disasters, from wildfires to shelter-in-place situations and of course severe weather.

Based on interlocal agreements with the police department and other entities, Rowden is confident in their readiness, but being completely ready for anything is very difficult.

"All you can do is do your best to prepare for what others have had to go through. You learn from the other situations, just like we'll learn from the Oklahoma situation," Rowden said.

As far as tornado safety is concerned,. the drills may look a little familiar.

We've all done the duck and cover drill in the center of the school, which is the safest place but the safest place isn't safe enough, sometimes.

"You have an [EF]-5 tornado, there's not a whole lot above ground you're going to be able to use to protect yourself," Rowden explained.

Despite that, some Ector County parents tell us they still feel safe sending their kids to school.

"I feel safe. I feel like they've really improved in recent years on instructing them what to do in the case of an emergency," One grandparent told us.

For one student, she says she feels safe after doing these tornado drills, but the images are still hard for her to comprehend.

"It made me feel really sad for them," a student told us.

Seeing how prepared her teachers are, it did not make her feel scared.

We did find one parent who thought the duck and cover drill wasn't enough to keep his kids safe, but for the most part, parents seemed pretty confident in the school district as a whole.

As for the district, they do update their plans when they see fit


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