Downtown Amarillo Keeps Employees Safe During Severe Weather - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Amarillo Keeps Employees Safe During Severe Weather

Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy
Michael Head, Supervisor of Facility Maintenance for Potter County Michael Head, Supervisor of Facility Maintenance for Potter County
Kevin Starbuck,  Emergency Management Coordinator for Amarillo, Potter, and Randall Counties Kevin Starbuck, Emergency Management Coordinator for Amarillo, Potter, and Randall Counties

During the day downtown Amarillo is one of the most populated areas in the region.

And it could be the most vulnerable to a devastating storm.

While none of the building managers we spoke with said they practice evacuations or safety.

Downtown could be safer than you think.

Even working on the 25th floor of the chase building, employees feel safe.

"If something were to happen and they needed to warn tenants of this building they use their emergency procedures already in place for a fire," said Wes Reeves, the Xcel Energy Spokesman.

Reeves has worked in the chase building for 13 years and remembers several times that severe weather has threatened the building. Sometimes too quickly for him to reach the basement.

"The main problem is the danger from flying glass and also the danger of being removed from the building by winds," Reeves said.

The Office of Emergency Management says there are no public shelters downtown, but Potter County says they will keep citizens in both the Santa Fe Building and District Courts safe.

"We have had to use it through years past. I believe it was about a year ago in Amarillo we had to send everyone to shelter within the district courts building," said Michael Head, the Supervisor of Facility Maintenance for Potter County. "I feel comfortable that Potter County can protect the occupants and taxpayers, whomever may be in the building from any type of severe weather."

Experts say the plans in these buildings could serve as good examples.

"Every business right down to the individual families should have an emergency plan on what they will do when certain things occur," said Kevin Starbuck, the Emergency management Coordinator for Amarillo, Potter, and Randall Counties.

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