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Tornado Safety in Local Schools

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In the wake of the Oklahoma tornado, local schools are looking at safety procedures for staff and students.

Members from the Amarillo and Canyon School Districts told us they work with the National Weather Service to develop detailed plans and safety routines. Tornado drills are also practiced a few times a year.

Jose Garcia, of the National Weather Service Center in Amarillo, said the best thing to do is take cover in a basement or bottom floor away from windows and doors.

Kirk Kear is the principal of the Canyon Junior High School. He says preparing students for potential tornadoes is important and knowing where there are safe spots is key to survival.

"In some cases, those are actually going to be in book rooms or rest rooms," he said about the Canyon Junior High. "We do have some dressing room facilities that will be safe places for them as well," he added.

In Amarillo schools, safe areas include closets, and interior hallways on the first floor or in the basement.

Both Canyon and Amarillo school's use weather alert radios, television and the Internet as ways of tracking storms. Representatives told us if a tornado were to happen during school hours, parents would be contacted as soon as possible.

Colleen Nelson, NewsChannel10.

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