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County Wide Safety Committee
Safety Recognition Program
Weather Alert System
Emergency Management Shelter
Tornado Safety Information
The Hernando County School Board
and the Safety & Security Department are very concerned about the safety and well-being of
everyone in Hernando County.
Particularly during tornado season, we provide important information that we hope will be
carefully reviewed by everyone who receives it. We cannot overstate the importance of
knowing how to respond to a tornado warning while at school.
For persons viewing
this page from outside the Hernando County area, check with local emergency authorities
regarding specific shelter information in your area.
A tornado is destructive
when it descends to earth, where its path may vary from 100 yards to one mile in width.
Its forward speed will average 25 to 40 miles per hour. The following instructions for
different areas and situations should be studied:
If you are in the open:
|Move at right angles to the
|Attempt to reach shelter such
as a building with a basement.|
|If there is not time to
escape or find shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression, avoiding areas subject to rapid
water accumulation or flooding in heavy rains.|
If you are in class:
|The Teachers and school administration shall advise you were to seek shelter. Students and staff should immediately
proceed to a lower level hallway or class room of the building or to the nearest
substantially-constructed building, if the facility being used is not suitable for shelter
space. All Tornado walls will be marked with bright yellow signs indicating were you
should be. Stay calm and follow the staff member who is in charge, instructions.|
If you are
attending a school related function:
|The function will be
terminated at once, and the participants advised promptly to take shelter on the ground
floor away from glass . If the function is being held in a gymnasium, auditorium or
cafeteria, those areas are not designated as a shelter. The area should be evacuated
immediately and the occupants instructed to proceed to the nearest
The Hernando County School Board maintains a County-wide Emergency Management Program.
Tornado Warning sirens are installed in all schools and a Alpha Pager Network links all
administrators to the National Weather Service's warning system, through DTN weather
service. All schools are also equipped with weather alert radios, 800mhz
scanners (programmed with all county emergency frequencies), and a county wide weather alert
When the tornado sirens are sounded, it means IMMINENT DANGER. Take shelter immediately
in the nearest suitable shelter space. Shelter space in our schools is identified in
advance. Once the sirens sound, it is too late to seek shelter at a remote location!
An "all-clear" signal will NOT be given via the siren system. A voice
over the intercom system is the only recall that is used. DO NOT LEAVE THE SHELTER AREA
UNTIL THE ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN!
Outside THE HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM
, check with local authorities for
information about what a "siren system" signal means (if one is used), and
whether or not an all clear signal will be given by siren.
(& ALL-CLEAR SIGNALS)
(& ALL-CLEAR SIGNALS)
The National Weather Service broadcasts continuous weather status and forecast
information on a special frequency of 162.400 Mhz from its Inverness tower. This
information is updated hourly. In addition, the NWS will broadcast special alert tones and
messages for tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and similar impending weather
Persons in shelter spaces should not rely on visual observations of local conditions as a
reliable indicator of the true status of the weather, since hail and tornados have been
known to occur under apparently clear-sky conditions.
Safe shelter from a tornado may be sought in virtually any building of substantial masonry
construction; almost all school facilities meet basic shelter criteria.
The lowest level of the building should be used, avoiding spaces with glass
surfaces on any outside wall; doors can usually be arranged to augment protection.
Buildings of frame construction and those with broad, flat roofs or large open interior
spaces (such as auditoriums, cafeterias, or gymnasiums) should not be used
as shelter unless they are specifically designed for that use and posted. Many such areas,
however, have adjacent service spaces (such as corridors, walk-in coolers, or showers)
which are reasonably safe.
The Hernando County School System's Safety Department is responsible for the planning and
coordination of Emergency Preparedness in all Hernando County Schools. We work closely
with the Hernando County Emergency Management Office. Qualified public safety personnel
are available to assist all schools with internal emergency planning or preparedness.
Anyone having questions about the
information in this document or about the Hernando County Schools emergency
preparedness programs is invited to contact Barry Crowley at (325) 797-7054
Comments or suggestions with regard to this or other Safety programs of the Hernando
County School System are always welcome.
The National Weather Service (NWS),
public news media, and public safety agencies utilize standardized terminology when
referring to severe weather conditions; those terms most frequently used are listed and
Wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or
greater and/or hail three-quarters of an inch in diameter or larger.
Sustained or gusty surface winds of 60 mph or
A violent local storm of short duration with
very high-speed winds rotating about a vortex with a funnel extending from the base of the
clouds to the ground.
A tornadic-type funnel extending downward from
the clouds but NOT touching the ground.
Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm WATCH
Issued by the NWS as a precautionary alert when
conditions are favorable for the development of tornados or severe thunderstorms in the
Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm WARNING
Issued when a tornado or severe thunderstorm has
been sighted visually or detected by radar. The location and direction of movement, if
known, are given, and residents of the specified WARNING area should take immediate safety