Students Sheltered from Weather in Event of Evacuation

A mock situation will be played out in Lockport today to demonstrate how rural students can take shelter from winter weather in case they need to evacuate a burning school.

Gordon “Professor Popsicle” Giesbrecht from the University of Manitoba and Lockport School have developed a large tarp to help keep students warm. Currently, if a fire occurs and students evacuate immediately without grabbing extra clothing, they could be waiting outside for 25-30 minutes in frigid temperatures before school buses arrive to act as shelter.

The large tarp can cover 60 students, and six temporary shelters can house 400 students within seven minutes of evacuation. The last trial was done at -21°C and the temperature inside the tarp rose 10°C during the test.

Giesbrecht will hold another demonstration today with the school, its board, the local fire department and RCMP.