“It’d take a long time to build tornado shelters for every kid in Oklahoma,” Schone said.
Schone argued that although the blankets aren’t better for tornadoes overall, they are better for school shootings. A safe room doesn’t help much during shootings because it requires travel, he said.
“They can lock the door and put these on in a matter of seconds.”
ProTecht took a finished blanket to a shooting range and had it subjected to a National Institute of Justice Class 3A test, which is used to test body armor for police units. This classification implies protection against various projectiles, including 12-gauge buckshot, as well as .22-caliber and 9 mm bullets. It passed, Schone said.
Miami, OK-based Tote Along manufactures the blankets. The members of ProTecht chose to stay local to be able to watch the blankets being made.
“You can’t do that if you’re making them in China,” Schone said.
The blanket has been in production for about 10 months, and the team started marketing it about a week ago, Schone said.
The team plans to work with buyers on prices. Instead of having an online store, they suggest shoppers visit their website at bodyguardblanket.com.
Although they don’t offer a guarantee, the pair said believe the product would be a valuable addition to the classroom.
“This thing gives kids an option, an alternative that will give them an opportunity to survive,” Schone said.