Denver Public Schools
                                      Interdepartmental Memo

To:             Principals

Through:        Richard Allen, Assistant Superintendent, Budget and Finance

From:           Stephen Finley, Risk Management Director
                Michael Mayo, Safety Manager

Subject:        Severe Weather / Tornado Procedures and Information Memo of Instruction

Date:           August 8, 2003

Risk Management, with the cooperation and assistance of the Federal Department of Emergency Management,
DPS Safety and Security, and information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), and the National Weather Service, has established guidelines and procedures for keeping our students,
staff, and visitors as safe as possible during the severe weather / tornado seasons.

DPS Safety and Security Department has purchased Weather Radios for every school in the District. This radio
should be located in the main office and kept powered up at all times. The school office staff should become
familiar with the operation of this radio and familiar with the alarm that will sound when the National Weather
Service issues a weather alert. These radios will be sent to each school during the first part of August.

This attached document has been developed so that each section can stand alone for its’ audience. The “School
Administration” section covers the responsibilities of the school administrator and ties directly to the
Classroom section. This entire document should be placed in the School Administrator’s emergency notebook.
A copy of the Administrator’s section should be placed in the main office for immediate access.

The school administrator should review all school designated “Safe Areas” to see if those areas meet the
suggested requirements in this document.

The “School Classroom” section or page should be copied and distributed to each room that has the “Flipchart”
and stapled to the section titled “Severe Weather”. This page does not negate the “Flipchart” section. It does
supply additional information and clarity.

The third page, “Things To Remember”, is directed to everybody to help them understand why these steps and
recommendations are necessary.

Any questions regarding this Severe Weather / Tornado Procedures and Information document should be
addressed to the DPS Risk Management Department. The telephone number is 303-764-3466. If Risk
Management is not available, call Safety and Security at 303-764-3541.

CC:     Cabinet
        Mike Langley, Executive Director Facility Management
        Ed Ray, Director Safety and Security
        Guy Champlin, Executive Director Transportation & Support Services
        Tom Stevens, Chief Technical Officer, DoTS
        Donna Wittrock, Executive Director, Food & Nutrition Services

                                         Created 6/19/03




       Created 6/19/03
                                SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
                                  SEVERE WEATHER-TORNADO

                                 PROCEDURES AND INFORMATION

Upon hearing the City and County of Denver’s Emergency Alarm and / or the alert from the
Weather Radio, Located in the School Office:
   Listen and verify the general area to be affected.
   LOOK outside to verify the weather conditions.
   Listen to the radio and or television for additional information.
   Keep classrooms informed.
   Call DPS Safety and Security Dispatch for additional information, if necessary.
   Determine IF the school is in the affected area.
   Prepare for a weather emergency by gathering your emergency material.

             (This may confuse the staff and cause some to go outside.)

If the school IS in the affected area and the Tornado is imminent:
      Make the announcement over the PA to all classrooms to activate their Severe Weather
      Bring all students into the building from the school grounds and send them to their classrooms
      If school buses are at the school request that all drivers, students, parents come into the building
         and direct them to the designated safe shelter area. (If the parents are insistent about removing
         their child and leaving the building, follow the procedures established by your Area
      Move all staff, office visitors, and students to their designated safe area.

When the storm passes:
   Check all reports from staff for injuries and damage to the building.
   Evacuate the building if the building is damaged and unsafe.
   Do not allow students/staff to wade in water because of the danger of live electrical wires.
   If the building is damaged, have building maintenance staff cut off all gas, electric, and fuel oil
      at main disconnects, according to maintenance procedures.
   Contact DPS Safety and Security Dispatch (3911) with school conditions and safety updates.

If the school is NOT in the affected area:
      School schedules proceed as normal.
      Keep the Radio/Television tuned for further weather updates.


      The Midland, Model # 74-200 Weather Radio, is to be located in the school office and turned
       on at all times.
      These procedures should be reviewed and practiced a minimum of once per semester.

                                       Created 6/19/03
                                   SCHOOL CLASSROOM
                                 SEVERE WEATHER-TORNADO

                                PROCEDURES AND INFORMATION

Upon hearing the City and County of Denver’s Emergency Alarm and PA announcement:
   Listen for the PA announcement to activate the Severe Weather Procedures.
   Teachers will direct the students to their assigned safe shelter area (usually hallways).
   Students will leave all belongings behind, including books, bags, coats, etc.
   Students will move quickly, quietly and orderly to their assigned areas.
   Students will wait for instructions.


      Teachers will take an attendance sheet or similar document with them.
      Teachers will make sure the classroom door is closed after the last person has left the room.
      Teachers/Administrators will check to make sure all students are out of bathrooms.
      Teachers will instruct the students to line up and sit down against the inside wall of the hallway
       and be prepared to assume the Tornado Protective Kneeling Position. (See Below)
      Teachers will keep students calm.

                            Tornado Protective Kneeling Position

  Kneel or crouch on your knees and elbows, with your head between your knees
                and your hands clasp over the back of your head.

                  When the storm is imminent instruct the students to:
      Assume the protective kneeling position with their hands covering the back of their necks and
       their faces protected by the floor and their knees.
      Remain in this position until instructed otherwise.

                                      After the storm passes
      Check all students for injuries
      Take attendance
      Report the status of your class to the administrator in the predetermined manner.
      Follow any further instructions from the Administrator.


All Classroom Visitors, Para’s, and Parents, MUST move with the class to the assigned Safe
Shelter Area and must assume the Protective Kneeling Position when instructed.

                                      Created 6/19/03
                                   THINGS TO REMEMEBER
                                   SEVERE WEATHER-TORNADO

                              PROCEDURES AND INFORMATION

Safe Shelter Areas should / could be
    Internal hallways
    Internal classrooms without glass walls
    A basement if quickly accessible and internally safe
    An internal stairwell if glass is not present

Safe Shelter Areas should not be
      Classrooms / rooms with high profile ceilings, such as Gyms and Auditoriums
      Classrooms with an outside wall and / or windows.
      Adjacent to entrance / exit doors with glass inserts
      Adjacent to Atriums, Skylights, glass walled classrooms

General Information
      The city alarm may be sounded in your area when the storm is in another part of the city.
      Practice of these procedures will help reduce confusion and will keep everybody calmer in the
       case of an actual weather emergency.
      These procedures should be reviewed and practiced a minimum of once per semester.
      The Office of Emergency Management, City and County of Denver, notifies DPS Safety and
       Security of all weather emergencies.
      The District has supplied each school with a Midland, Model # 74-200, Weather Radio.

And finally, REMEMBER

DPS Safety and Security Office and the Public Information Office are available as resources for
information on current weather emergencies; BUT the school is ultimately responsible for onsite
verification of weather conditions and comparison to the weather information available, in order to put
the Severe Weather-Tornado procedures for the school into action.

DPS Safety and Security       303-764-3911
Public Information Office     303-764-3414


National Weather Service
NOAH, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
City and County of Denver’s Office of Emergency Management

                                      Created 6/19/03

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