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Making a severe weather plan

Tornadoes are something Oklahomans almost expect to deal with each year.

However, the threat of storms come with days, even hours of advance notice in many cases thanks to advancements in technology.

Despite that, many Oklahomans don’t know what to do if and when a tornado is barreling down on their neighborhood.

Luke Hartman, an Oklahoma resident, and his family are well prepared for what to do when tornadoes threaten.

Hartman said, “To me, if you have been here for any amount of time you need to have a plan. It’s just second nature.”

His neighbors have a shelter, so does his job.

Though his family also has a plan for what to do when they don’t have time to make it to the neighbors or his office.

Hartman said, “If we have less time than that we have a bathroom that has blankets and sleeping bags.”

Rick Smith, with the National Weather Service, said, “Really, your goal in a safety plan is to put as many walls or barriers between you and a tornado as you can.”

Smith says every Oklahoman should know what they will do when storms are in the forecast.

Smith said, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. So, everyone needs to have a plan.”

A plan should include some way to get weather information. Smith recommends multiple sources including a NOAA weather radio and local meteorologists.

He says you should also know what you will take with you and have those things ready to go.

Smith said, “The last thing you want to be doing is searching for the leash for your dog.”

Law enforcement officials say with so much warning in advance of recent storms there’s no excuse for not planning ahead.

If you don’t feel safe at home experts say know where you can go and get there hours ahead of time.

Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said, “I know it’s a pain and it interrupts people’s schedules but when you are dealing with deadly weather you need to make those plans.”

Hartman said, “I would think for anyone, you need to know at least two places you can go in a short amount of time.”

Smith says we all need to have a plan.

He said, “The more you do that planning part the less stressed you are going to be and the more likely you’ll be to survive.”

Smith also says you need to consider now what you would do if you were not at home. He says that includes what you would do if you were at work, church or school.