Purdy students promoting new FEMA shelter

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Kelsey Fields’ fifth-grade class at Purdy Middle School is working on a public information effort to inform the Purdy community about the FEMA storm shelter, at rear, about to open for use. Contributed photo

Outreach planned to familiarize town about new resource

Students in Kelsey Field’s fifth-grade class at Purdy Middle School have launched a community outreach to education town residents about the new storm shelter resource that will open for use this month.

The new FEMA shelter is located at 101 East Highway C, south of city hall and the eagle fountain in Project Genesis Park. The multi-purpose building has been constructed as a preschool classroom, a music classroom, an auditorium and a storm shelter.

Students are preparing handouts to distribute from their booth at the annual Purdy School Carnival on Oct. 19, explaining how the new facility will serve the community. In the event of a severe storm and the sounding of the tornado sirens, doors to the building will automatically unlock. Residents will have five minutes to reach the facility, which has room for 1,200 people, approximately 200 more than live in town. First responders will use the shelter as a staging area.

In the case of an event while school is in session, the facility will be occupied by the staff and students prior to it opening to the public. Pets will not be allowed in the shelter. The entire building is not a shelter, the students noted. Visitors will need to proceed into the fortified section at the rear.

Handouts under preparation will explain each of the panels of the shelter weighs more than 58,000 pounds and have been mounted four feet into the ground. The shelter parking area can accommodate 44 vehicles. Students plan to explain that parking will be available around the adjacent Project Genesis Park and other places within close walking distance. The building is required to be stocked with food and water in case of an emergency.

The class plans to approach the Purdy City Council to request placing way-finding signs around the town for residents not familiar with the school.

“We would not have the shelter without the support of the people of Purdy and their school district,” the class said in an information sheet prepared for the occasion.

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