Liberal R-II School District
Liberal High School
205 N. Payne
The community FEMA Storm Shelter is a public safe room during a tornado or dangerous high
wind events. The tornado shelter is located on the south side of the Liberal High School building
located at 205 N. Payne in Liberal, Missouri. The tornado shelter is owned by the Liberal R-2
School District but is operated in partnership with the Barton County Emergency Management
Officials, Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Liberal Police Department, and the Liberal Volunteer
Fire Department and First Responders. The primary function of the shelter is to provide protection for the students and staff of the district during a tornado or high wind events but will
also be available for residents in the community who do not have basements or other safe rooms that live within the protection zone which includes the city limits of Liberal. The shelter will be prepared for occupancy during a Tornado Watch and will be opened when a Tornado Warning is issued and/or the city sirens are activated.
Liberal R-2 School District Storm Shelter-Safe Room Procedures
The Liberal R-II School District operates, in partnership with the local emergency agencies, the
public storm shelter located on the south side of the Liberal High School building, located at 205 N. Payne. The shelter can be accessed from Payne Street or Maple Street.
Individuals utilizing the shelter can park in the gravel parking lot east of the High School. To avoid situations becoming unorganized and chaotic during the event of a storm, it is recommended for everyone to park in rows, similar to parking for high school events to allow individuals access to their vehicle to leave the shelter when the all clear is given.
Handicapped parking will be on the paved portion of the parking lot located along the west side of the white railing separating the drive and the gravel parking lot.
Operations Team Members are asked to park in the gravel parking lot south of the Safe Room.
The storm shelter is designed to shelter the students and staff populations, as well as those living within the city limits. The safe room is designed to accommodate 627 persons in its 8,640 usable square feet. Due to estimated time necessary to reach the Safe Room after a warning is given and also the limit on the maximum capacity of people allowed, including the student body and staff, the tornado Safe Room cannot guarantee safety for those beyond the protection zone if capacity has been reached. If we manage to keep the number of people under capacity, no
community member will be turned away.
The storm shelter will be prepared for occupancy during a Tornado Watch and will be opened to the public when a tornado warning is issued or the city sirens are activated. Surrounding
residents that are “at risk” will be allowed to seek Safe Room occupancy in the Safe Room area
when a Tornado Watch is issued. Normally, the city sirens are activated for tornado warnings in
the area, but also straight line winds of 75 mph or higher, large diameter hail, or any other life
threatening hazard that requires you to take shelter immediately. Normal activation will last for
a few minutes but could continue as long as the threat of life continues.
It is recommended that the public make informed decisions as to whether it is safe to travel to the storm shelter or if it would be safer sheltering in their home, a neighbor’s home, or elsewhere. Make a plan in advance and monitor the weather situation via NOAA weather radio, public radio or television, or other social media means.
For accountability purposes, anyone utilizing the shelter will be asked to sign in and sign out as
time permits. If a tornado strikes the area, emergency agencies will utilize the sign in sheet in
their efforts to locate people. The public is expected to enter the safe room with doors closing,
and remain inside the shelter until the all clear is given by emergency management officials.
Utilizing the shelter will also require a general agreement to follow the instructions of the shelter
supervisor and follow shelter rules and procedures which will be posted in the building. The
shelter is supervised by school personnel during school hours and by a volunteer committee
made up of selected school personnel along with the Liberal Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders during non-school hours. Please remember that this group supervises the shelter as a community service and its members are volunteers. This service is a great service to the community and the school district. The public is expected to enter the safe room with doors closing, and remain inside the shelter until the all clear is given by emergency management officials.
Basic Tornado Shelter-Safe Room Rules
When you enter and utilize the tornado shelter, you are expected to abide by the safe room
expectations. These expectations are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s
(FEMA) expectations of operations and a matter of public safety.
During school hours, students and staff have priority for Safe Room occupancy.
The Safe Room will be available for residents that are “at-risk” during a Tornado Emergency is expected for our area, and/or the tornado sirens have been sounded. The Safe Room will be available for residents that are "at-risk" during a Tornado Watch.
Enter the safe room and remain in the safe room until the all clear is given. The Safe Room will remain open only until the warning is lifted. When the warning expires, the Safe Room must be evacuated.
During school hours, a Safe Room Manager is in charge and will be on duty to maintain the facility and to close it after the warning expires. After school hours, a volunteer Safe Room Supervisor will be in charge. Please follow the directions of the Safe Room Manager/Supervisor and other school personnel at all times.
All occupants must sign in upon arrival and sign out when leaving. If a tornado strikes the area, emergency agencies will utilize the sign in sheet in their efforts to locate people.
Follow directions of the safe room supervisors.
Be seated. Helpful Hint: Seating will be limited so if you cannot stand or sit on the floor, please plan to bring a folding chair with you.
No horse play or playing of any kind.
Parents are to supervise their children.
Smoking or the use tobacco products are prohibited in the Safe Room and on all school property.
Weapons are prohibited in the Safe Room and on all school property.
Pets are not allowed in the Safe Room unless they are registered as a service animal. Service animals must be registered at the Superintendent’s Office in advance and documentation must be provided.
Be courteous to the volunteer safe room supervisors.
Radios or music devices may be used only with individual earphones.
The Safe Room doors must remain closed at all times.
Community Safe Room occupants who cannot adhere to these basic rules or are disruptive to the orderly functioning of the community safe room will be referred to security or local law
enforcement personnel and may result in the individual being removed from the facility or be
prohibited of utilizing the safe room.
At the bottom of this webpage, you will find links to a Shelter Floor Plan Map, a Location Map,
and a Special Needs Form (physical impairments, special medical alerts, aid animal instructions, etc.) to be completed and returned to the Liberal R-II School District Superintendent’s Office. The office will provide you with a copy of the special needs form for documentation that may need to be presented at the shelter.
Information about the shelter can also be found on the www.liberalbulldogs.org website. The
FEMA Safe Room located at 205 N. Payne is for community use but the shelter located at the
Elementary School (401 E. Yale) is NOT A PUBLIC SHELTER. If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact the Superintendent’s Office at 47-843-5115 x.4.