On Friday March 31, 2023 three EF3 tornadoes touched down in the state of Arkansas. (AR Democrat Gazette). These tornadoes were a result of an extratropical cyclone that ripped through the Midwestern, Southern and Eastern States. (Tornado Outbreak March 31, 2023)
CAC entered tornado protocol around around 2:15 on Friday and did not move out of protocol until around an hour later. Throughout the day, administrators followed the live local weather channel and the National Weather Service to make decisions about what the best options for shelter would be. The National Weather Service is the source that issues official tornado warnings, which begins the protocol, and the live weather coverage from local news stations helps administrators know where the actual storm is located.
Throughout the day, all three CAC campuses work together to make decisions regarding the safety of students during severe weather. During the storm, CAC President Carter Lambert was on a conference call with the principals of both elementary schools discussing what was happening and what next steps needed to be taken. Around the high school campus, administrators keep in contact with each other through the use of walkie-talkies. These are very helpful in the event of an emergency because they do not require service, so if the service goes out, communication is not lost.
While Friday was an extremely scary and sad day for the CAC family and the state, Coach Hall said “Our kids did a really good job of taking a serious situation seriously, which is not always the case in a school setting. The ability to do what you’re supposed to, listen to your teachers, and stay quiet played an important role in the success of doing what we needed to do.”
In wake of these events, the CAC community has come together in numerous ways to help those around us. In just 48 hours, the CAC community raised more than $11,000, which is already being distributed to affected CAC families based on need. CAC families and staff also assisted in the clean up efforts for CAC families whose properties were affected by the storm. The donation link can be found here: CAC Tornado Relief Fund.
If you cannot donate money but would like to donate time, the city of Little Rock is asking for volunteers. You can sign up with this link: Little Rock Volunteer Opportunity. New Life Church is also accepting volunteers to aid in the relief process: New Life Tornado Relief Sign Up. North Little Rock is asking for donations of supplies like work gloves and lawn bags, and new tarps are being accepted at First Assembly Church, located at 4501 Burrow Drive. That.Church is accepting volunteers for the North Little Rock Clean up effort. To sign up you can call (501)833-4673 or message the church on its Facebook page.
If you or your family needs help during this time, please reach out to the administration for support. If you or a family member is struggling with the psychological impact of these storms, CAC has counseling resources available for anyone who needs them.