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Company creates blanket for tornado protection

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma company has created a protective blanket that developers say could give children a better chance of surviving debris from a tornado - or bullets from a 9 mm handgun.

The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof pad designed to protect students during disasters at school. The 5/16-inch thick rectangle features backpack-like straps that allow users to put it on, and then duck and cover.

Steve Walker developed the pad, The Oklahoman reports Walker started on the idea after a massive tornado struck last year in Moore, killing 24 people including seven children inside an elementary school that didn't have a tornado shelter.

He gave a sketch of the protective blanket to Stan Schone, an inventor and one of his patients, during an appointment. The two form half of the executive team at ProTecht. The others are Jeff Quinn and Jay Hanan.

The new material also protects against nails, shards of metal and other sharp objects.

At $1,000 per blanket, the company says buying one per student would be less expensive than building tornado shelters.