Tornado alley weighs costs of safe rooms

Monday, August 19, 2013

Three months after a tornado cut a swath of devastation through Moore, Okla., leveling an elementary school where seven children died, state officials and residents are debating the costs and benefits of making safe rooms mandatory in schools.

Like the majority of states in the twister-prone region of the U.S. known as Tornado Alley, Oklahoma currently leaves it up to school districts to decide whether to install storm shelters. Less than one-third of Oklahoma's 1,773 public schools currently have a safe room or shelter for children to ride out a storm, according to a survey conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Education.

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