It’s inevitable that just around the corner from winter in Oklahoma City lies tornado season
It’s inevitable that just around the corner from winter in Oklahoma City lies tornado season. But being a native myself means that safety practices are somewhat second nature. But even so, every now and again, even natives have to review their safety plans to ensure an effective response plan is in place for bad weather.
Tornados can hit just about any season in Oklahoma, but certain times of the year have better conditions for tornado formation than other. The hot-spot months of the year happen from late March through August. Here are some things you should do to prepare for bad weather:
1. Designate a room in your home for waiting out bad weather if you don’t have an underground shelter. Be sure your entire family knows exactly which room it is. It should be the lowest, smallest and most central area of your home. Practice placing obstacles in the way like completely darkening rooms and then make your way to your shelter room. It’s not uncommon to be without electricity during storms, so having the little ones used to it may make it easier during bad weather.
2. Construct a tornado kit and make sure it’s accessible during storms. The best place for it will be in your shelter room. It should include a battery-operated radio or television, flashlight, first aid kit, extra set of keys for vehicles, change of clothes and shoes for the family, spare batteries, identification and cash.
3. Follow breaking weather closely. Overall, meteorologists can provide advanced notice in most cases when tornado-threatening weather is imminent. Stay tuned and stay forewarned—this is the best course of action for preparedness.
4. Act fast! Don’t waste time trying to second-guess whether or not a tornado is really hitting. Once you receive a warning from your local weather authorities, grab your tornado kit, blankets, portable radio and/or television, and place them in your shelter room and wait for the all clear before leaving. Oftentimes, weather authorities are only aware of tornados touching down after the fact.
5. Stay calm, think clearly and remember your plan of action. Staying calm is imperative in your ability to remember your plan both, before and after a tornado. Know the designated area to meet your family. Assess everyone’s condition and, if able, check on neighbors to determine if anyone is in need of immediate medical attention.
Always remember to contact 911 if anyone is lost or injured during a storm. Emergency preparedness in Oklahoma City not only increases your chances of survival, it will also help sustain you after a weather disaster.
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