Oklahoma company ProTecht has created a protective pad that provides an extra shielded layer in the event of a tornado or other natural disaster.
The sad reality, of course, is that the bulletproof pads were likely also designed to be used in the event of a violent, human-instigated attack such as a school shooting. According to the Daily Mail, the product would serve some purpose if used during such a tragic event. A finished pad was subjected to a National Institute of Justice Class 3A test at a shooting range, and it passed after 9 mm and .22-caliber bullets were fired at it. The blanket is made out of Dyneema, a plastic that is lighter than Kevlar but also used in the ballistic armor worn by U.S. soldiers and various police departments.
The product is called The Bodyguard Blanket, and it has already been introduced for testing in some Oklahoma schools. The idea for the product belongs to Steve Walker, who developed the blanket after an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma witnessed the loss of 24 people and seven children during a tornado because it lacked a shelter.
According to Walker, the Bodyguard Blanket is a more affordable alternative to constructing shelters in schools. Still, the cost of an individual pad is $1,000, a somewhat costly purchase considering one would be needed for each child.
“By no means would we ever say that this is more protective (than a shelter). But when you have budget constraints, this might be a viable alternative,” said Walker.
The Blanket is intended to be give increased protection as a child huddles over to take cover during the event of a tornado. The Blanket then acts a shield against any falling debris or rubble.
The introduction of the product to classrooms is similar to armor manufacturer Hardwire’s creation of the bulletproof whiteboard, which can be used as a shield in the event of a school shooting.
Whether or not schools will adopt the new pads as a preventative measure remains to be seen, although ProTecht is amping up its promotional campaign now that testing is complete.