Nearly a third of Huntsville City Schools are outfitted with storm safe rooms

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Following the deadly Enterprise tornado in 2007, the state of Alabama passed a law requiring all new public schools feature a tornado safe room in the floor plan.

When there's red on radar, most parents want their child safe at home. In truth, depending on where they go to school, they could be safer staying put.

“So that all of these new schools that are being completed or have been completed have a tornado shelter," said Keith Ward, a spokesman for Huntsville City Schools.

Following the mandate from Montgomery, every new school Huntsville City Schools has built since 2010, has featured a tornado safe room.

Meaning once the two newest projects are done this summer, the new Grissom High and Morris P-8, "That will have one-third of our school facilities that will have a storm shelter like this one here," said Ward.

Blossomwood Elementary's safe room is inside their gymnasium.

“You have it built to withstand 250 mph sustained winds," said Ward.

So while your first inclination may be to yank your child out of school when the skies turn dark, staying put, may be their safest place in a storm.

“You’ve got a lot of concrete and re-bar that are reinforced in the walls," he explained. “That is what makes it structurally able to be able to withstand what mother nature can throw at it.”

For schools built prior to 2010, Huntsville City Schools tell us trained architects have identified the most structurally sound areas in those buildings and that's where students would be sent during a tornado warning.