Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

May 28, 2013

Partisan politics take back seat after disaster

(Continued)

MOORE —

Those issues will be studied in the weeks ahead and could provide valuable information for the future planning and safety of the nation’s schoolchildren.
Obama also took time to thank members of the National Weather Service for the advanced warning that saved so many lives.
“From the forecasters who issued the warnings, to the first responders who dug through the rubble, to the teachers who shielded with their own bodies their students, Oklahomans have inspired us,” Obama said.
During the 1970s, meteorologists and engineers at the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman “worked to make Doppler radar a practical reality,” meteorologist Mike Smith says in his book “Warnings.”
Today, the National Weather Service issues free warnings and alerts through weather radio transmissions and to meteorologists and media outlets nationwide. Those warnings have saved countless lives by providing time to take shelter. But when an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado hits, shelter in a hallway or closet may not be enough protection.
As Moore and other affected areas of Oklahoma — including Little Axe, Pecan Valley, Shawnee, Carney and Bethel Acres — move forward, those who rebuild homes and schools will face tough questions about funding priorities and whether they can afford to rebuild with shelters in place to save future lives.
“We were moved and honored by President Obama’s visit to our schools and to our community,” Pierce said. “He shared our grief for the precious lives lost and lauded the principals, teachers and school staff whose quick response and bravery saved countless lives. President Obama’s words of encouragement and commitment of support give us even greater fortitude as we begin the process of healing and rebuilding.”

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