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MAJOR (EF-4) TORNADO DEVASTATES MOORE, A COMMUNITY SOUTH OF OKLAHOMA CITY Monday, May 20, MAJOR (EF-4) TORNADO DEVASTATES MOORE, A COMMUNITY SOUTH OF OKLAHOMA CITY Monday, May 20, 2013 Walter Hays, Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, Vienna, Virginia, USA

THIS NEAR-RECORD STORM WAS THE SECOND TO OCCUR IN TWO DAYS THE FIRST STORM THIS NEAR-RECORD STORM WAS THE SECOND TO OCCUR IN TWO DAYS THE FIRST STORM HIT AROUND MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY; THE SECOND AT 3: 00 PM ON MONDAY

THE EF-4 TORNADO OF MAY 20, 2013 THE EF-4 TORNADO OF MAY 20, 2013

WINDS REACHED 333 KM PER HOUR (200 MILES PER HOUR) THE SECOND STORM, A WINDS REACHED 333 KM PER HOUR (200 MILES PER HOUR) THE SECOND STORM, A SLOW MOVER, WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 45 MINUTES

AFTER TOUCH DOWN, THE TORNADO CARVED OUT A 1 ½ -TO- 3 1/3 KMS AFTER TOUCH DOWN, THE TORNADO CARVED OUT A 1 ½ -TO- 3 1/3 KMS (1 - 2 MILES) WIDE PATH THROUGH MOORE

150 -SQUARE KM (60 -SQUARE MILE) AREA DEVASTATED: at least 24 dead ALL COMMUNICATIONS 150 -SQUARE KM (60 -SQUARE MILE) AREA DEVASTATED: at least 24 dead ALL COMMUNICATIONS WERE DISRUPTED POWER OUTAGES

DEVASTATED AREA: BEFORE (top) AND AFTER DEVASTATED AREA: BEFORE (top) AND AFTER

DEVASTATED RESIDENTIAL AREA DEVASTATED RESIDENTIAL AREA

BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER

BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER

DEVASTATION DEVASTATION

DEVASTATION DEVASTATION

MOORE MEDICAL CENTER: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER MOORE MEDICAL CENTER: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER

SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS QUICKLY FOCUSED ON COMBING THE PILES OF RUBBLE TO SAVE SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS QUICKLY FOCUSED ON COMBING THE PILES OF RUBBLE TO SAVE SURVIVORS OR TO RECOVER THE DEAD BODIES

EVERYONE HELPING EVERYONE IN MASSIVE SPONTANEOUS SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS HAMPERED BY FACT THAT EVERYONE HELPING EVERYONE IN MASSIVE SPONTANEOUS SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS HAMPERED BY FACT THAT MOORE’S TWO LOCAL MEDICAL FACILITIES WERE BADLY DAMAGED

SEARCH AND RESCUE SEARCH AND RESCUE

THE “NIGHTMARE SCENARIO” HAPPENED A MEGA-TORNADO STRIKING TWO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS THAT ARE IN SESSION THE “NIGHTMARE SCENARIO” HAPPENED A MEGA-TORNADO STRIKING TWO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS THAT ARE IN SESSION

A DIRECT HIT ON TWO SCHOOLS § All of the cinder block and brick A DIRECT HIT ON TWO SCHOOLS § All of the cinder block and brick buildings of two elementary schools (57 -yearold Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary) were leveled.

BRIARWOOD ELEM. SCHOOL: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER BRIARWOOD ELEM. SCHOOL: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER

PLAZA TOWERS ELEM. SCHOOL: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER PLAZA TOWERS ELEM. SCHOOL: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER

CINDER BLOCK SCHOOL BUILDINGS VULNERABLE • The mostly one-story public school buildings constructed of CINDER BLOCK SCHOOL BUILDINGS VULNERABLE • The mostly one-story public school buildings constructed of cinderblock and brick in the 1960’s had little or no chance of withstanding winds of 333 kph (200 mph) that caused walls to fall like a house of cards and tore off roofs.

NOTE: Given the devastation visible after the tornado swept through Moore, it’s likely that NOTE: Given the devastation visible after the tornado swept through Moore, it’s likely that no school building would have withstood the intense pressure that the tornado brought to bear on the walls of the two schools.

NEWER SCHOOLS HAVE REINFORCED CONCRETE WALLS AND SAFE ROOMS NOW, BUT NEITHER OF THESE NEWER SCHOOLS HAVE REINFORCED CONCRETE WALLS AND SAFE ROOMS NOW, BUT NEITHER OF THESE SCHOOLS DID

ADVANCE WARNING § A 16 -minute warning gave teachers/students/residents enough time to implement safety ADVANCE WARNING § A 16 -minute warning gave teachers/students/residents enough time to implement safety plans and look for places to hide (e. g. , retreating to hallways, bath rooms, closets, safe rooms, underground storm cellars, etc. ).

IMMEDIATE EVACUATION • School officials evacuated fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to a church about IMMEDIATE EVACUATION • School officials evacuated fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to a church about a quarter-mile away before the tornado touched down, - - -

NOT EVACUATED • Knowing that it is best NOT to be caught out in NOT EVACUATED • Knowing that it is best NOT to be caught out in the open, the younger students – kindergartners through third graders – were kept at their 440 -student school.

THE “IDEAL” TORNADO ALLEY SCHOOL SURVIVAL PLAN • Students are moved into a hallway THE “IDEAL” TORNADO ALLEY SCHOOL SURVIVAL PLAN • Students are moved into a hallway or small room away from the southwest corner of the building and any windows and instructed to either sit or crouch. • The objective: Find a place that is structurally secure, without windows, so you can avoid flying glass and debris.

ACTUAL: The younger students crouched in hallways and bathrooms, waiting with teachers, hoping, and ACTUAL: The younger students crouched in hallways and bathrooms, waiting with teachers, hoping, and praying as the school’s cinder-brick walls started coming apart.

STUDENTS TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLE § GOOD NEWS: Only seven of the third grade STUDENTS TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLE § GOOD NEWS: Only seven of the third grade students trapped in the rubble of the 57 -year-old Plaza Towers Elementary School were victims. § No casualties at Briarwood Elementary School.

THE MAY 20, 2013 TORNADO DISASTER IS EXPECTED TO ECCLIPSE THE AREA’S MEGATORNADO (ES-5) THE MAY 20, 2013 TORNADO DISASTER IS EXPECTED TO ECCLIPSE THE AREA’S MEGATORNADO (ES-5) DISASTER OF MAY 3, 1999

REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 • When another monster tornado roared through Moore on May REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 • When another monster tornado roared through Moore on May 3, 1999, 300 students and their parents were attending an awards ceremony in the West Moore High School auditorium.

REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 • Although the tornado badly damaged the school and tossed REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 • Although the tornado badly damaged the school and tossed 150 cars in the parking lot like tinker-toys, those who hunkered down in the school’s hallways suffered only a few superficial injuries.

Experts now say that having a large number of people crowded into a big Experts now say that having a large number of people crowded into a big building is a bad idea when mega- tornadoes are touching down in the area.

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE UNDERWAY • • • American Red Cross Samaritan’s Purse Salvation Army Southern EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE UNDERWAY • • • American Red Cross Samaritan’s Purse Salvation Army Southern Baptists Many others

LOSSES EXPECTED TO EXCEED $3 BILLION. LOSSES EXPECTED TO EXCEED $3 BILLION.

AREA STILL AT HIGH RISK FROM FUTURE TORNADOES IMPROVED TORNADO RESILIENCE MEASURES ARE NEEDED AREA STILL AT HIGH RISK FROM FUTURE TORNADOES IMPROVED TORNADO RESILIENCE MEASURES ARE NEEDED FOR ENTIRE TORNADO ALLEY

DEVASTATED; BUT HOPE FOR THE FUTURE IS STILL ALIVE DEVASTATED; BUT HOPE FOR THE FUTURE IS STILL ALIVE