INDIANA — This week is Winter Weather Preparedness week in Indiana. Today the topic will look at winter weather safety for schools. Is your school weather-ready?
The Indiana Department of Education plans provide for as safe an environment as possible for school children. Most school systems have several sources for weather information including NOAA weather radio, local radio and television and Internet or paging services.
Schools have a plan for delaying, early dismissal or cancelling school based on forecast or observed weather and road conditions. Weather watches usually prompt discussion of plans. Actual conditions or winter weather warnings or winter weather advisories will usually prompt delays, early closures or cancellations. Temperatures, snow, freezing rain or road conditions determine a school’s course of action.
Before school, local radio and television stations carry information on school pans as well as plans for other organizations. Often school officials will test road conditions before making decisions.
Most schools have mobile communications for bus drivers and announce to teachers and students at school any plans differing from normal. School officials and bus drivers are in communication if weather or road conditions require an alternate route of travel. School officials and bus drivers are also aware of the signs of hypothermia or frostbite in case children have to wait a long time at bus stops. Many schools have automated phone messaging or texting ability to inform parents of changes in school activities.
So monitoring forecasts and school plans through the media, school websites or school phone message services will keep individuals updated on school plans.
Drivers are advised to be especially cautious when traveling through neighborhoods or near bus stops and schools. Falling snow and ice can make it difficult to see children walking to school or waiting for the bus, especially during dark early morning hours.
On Thursday, the feature will review exposure to cold and wind chill and how to be prepared.
Visit getprepared.in.gov for more information about winter safety.