A GUIDE TO DEVELOPING A
SEVERE WEATHER EMERGENCY PLAN
This guide was written by Barbara McNaught Watson, Warning
Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service,
Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office. It has been adapted for use by the
National Weather Service around the country with help from other Warning
Coordination Meteorologists. While it is designed specifically for schools, the
principles used can be applied to any facility that is used by people including
businesses, shopping malls, depots, hotels and hospitals.
This guide is also available as an Adobe PDF. It is
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Purpose and general layout of Guide
- Who will Develop Your Plan?
- SECTION 1 - Understanding
the Danger: Why an Emergency Plan is Needed
- Severe Thunderstorms - Hail, Downbursts, and Tornadoes
- SECTION 2 - Designing
- How to Get Emergency Weather Information?
- How will the School Administration Alert Teachers and Students to Take
- Determining Tornado and High Wind Safety Zones in Your School
- Determining When to Activate Your Plan and When it is Safe to Return to
- Determining when to Hold Departure of School Buses
- School Bus Actions
- Special Considerations for Other Weather Hazards
- Need for Periodic Drills and Severe Weather Safety Instruction
- SECTION 3 - Thunderstorms
and Severe Weather Spotting
- Basic facts about Thunderstorms
The Severe Thunderstorm
- What makes a typical thunderstorm?
- The thunderstorm life cycle
- What causes thunder?
Some Basic Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Spotting Techniques
NWS Methods of Detecting and Tracking Severe
APPENDICES - Reference Materials.
D. NWS Contact Information
E. NOAA Weather Radio
F. Emergency Alert System
G. Emergency Management Contacts and the American Red
H. School Severe Weather Check List
- Tornadoes and Severe Winds
- Hail Lightning
- Hurricanes and Storm Surge
- Winter Storms
- Extreme Cold
- Extreme Heat
I would like to thank Bill Bunting, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with
the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, MO. Bill gave me a copy of the
guide he developed for Oklahoma Schools when he worked at the Oklahoma Forecast
Office. I was able to use his guide as a foundation to develop this one. I would
also like to thank the Virginia Department of Emergency Services for their
overall support on this project in its development phase.