FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) - A game-changer for keeping your kids safe.
Mackenzie McCormick, Fargo schools' Coordinator of Safety & Emergency Management, has a new plan to keep kids out of the cold if they need to get out of the building in an emergency.
The Safety & Emergency Management position is new to Fargo Public Schools, and with fresh eyes come new perspectives.
"I kind of grasp onto something new every day," McCormick said.
One of those things is where your kids go if they need to evacuate their school.
"Whether it be a natural event or a man-made kind of gas leak, pipe burst, anything like that where the building becomes inhabitable, we need to get students out," McCormick said.
But if the students need to get outside, they could end up in freezing temperatures waiting for as long as an hour for buses to come and take them to someplace safe.
As just one example, let's say you go to Kennedy Elementary. In the case of an emergency, you would go to your area high school which is Davies. But you won’t be walking because that's about a four-mile treck so that means waiting for the bus outside.
"Maybe if the weather isn’t the greatest, if conditions aren't apt to be outside, we want them somewhere safe while we get buses to them," McCormick said.
McCormick has the answer.
She has signed sheltering agreements with areas close to the schools where students and staff can immediately evacuate to.
"A lot of our agreements are with local churches and other local large spaces that are within our half-mile walking radius,” McCormick said.
McCormick says the new plan keeps students and staff out of the elements while they wait for the buses. Also, it's free since the buildings have a mutual agreement.
McCormick is in charge of a wide variety of safety tasks including school drills, inspections, and staff safety training.