DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Around 20 local school superintendents, private school administrators, and city officials gathered for an informative session about having a plan and knowing who to reach out to in the wake of severe weather events.
“Number one we try to communicate with the EMA Chris Judah has done a wonderful job of communicating when severe weather is coming and after that, a lot of superintendents just try to communicate and discuss what the plan is at that time,” Houston County Schools Superintendent Brandy White said.
After the biggest school systems in the Wiregrass like Houston County Schools and Dothan City Schools make a decision to dismiss early, other school systems follow.
As for Houston County Schools, it’s all about timing — they would love to inform parents earlier however they tend to wait a little longer just to try to be more accurate.
“We try to make sure that severe weather doesn’t hit when buses are on the road and we have dirt roads in the county so when you have flash flooding those have to be some of our concerns,” White said.
The last severe weather event in the wiregrass was one month ago — 2 EF-0 tornadoes came through Houston County during the afternoon hours which would have been a safety hazard for his students and bus drivers on the routes.
White said if severe weather strikes during the school day, they are confident in their storm plan — putting students in hallways and away from windows.
They only jump to an early dismissal if it’s necessary — he knows it can be an inconvenience for parents and school staff, but recently it has been the right call.
“We’re not going to dismiss just for rain when you dealing with the safety of thousands of students and employees their safety comes before any inconvenience,”
School systems are monitoring the chance of severe weather for Friday afternoon.