OSU-OKC Utilizes New Safe Room This Storm Season
With tornado season in full effect, the OSU-Oklahoma City campus is prepared with storm shelter locations across the main campus and a new state-of-the-art safe room at the Child Development Center Lab School. According to CDC-LS Director Jennifer Duclos, the safe room is prepared to meet the needs of the center’s staff and children in inclement weather.
The room features a “fully-functioning space for children with activities, two restrooms, a diaper area, storage for and a 24-hour supply of food and water, blankets, pillows, soft items for comfort, emergency cribs for infants, a refrigerator/freezer, emergency contact information, emergency bags from each classroom containing first aid supplies, and necessities for each classroom.”
With the safe room’s recent completion in March 2010, this storm season marks its first use. Building Maintenance/Construction Director Wade Reed said the safe room is designed to withstand critical to severe damage.
In addition to being a shelter, the school also uses the safe room during daily activities with the children such as yoga time. “Not only is it a safe haven, but also the kids have a multi-purpose room that they can use all the time,” Reed said.
The facility utilized the safe room as a shelter on May 10 during the severe storms that swept through central Oklahoma. Before the safe room was constructed, the CDC-LS staff had to transport all the children in staff member vehicles to campus. “Once we got on campus, we would drive up the sidewalks to the Wellness Center,” Duclos says. “Campus staff would then assist in getting the children to the aerobics room in the Wellness Center.”
To be prepared for the unpredictable Oklahoma weather, the center has long made it a practice to conduct monthly fire drills and quarterly tornado, evacuation and lockdown drills. “Routine emergency drills ensure that staff and children both are well-trained in procedure and it reduces the anxiety factor for all,” Duclos explains.
“We are so grateful to have a room to keep us safe,” Duclos said. “It provides the children, staff and families peace of mind just knowing we are only a short walk from protection.”
For more information about the CDC-LS, call (405) 945-3260.