Surviving the storm in an apartment complex

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OKLAHOMA - Most apartment complexes do not have storm shelters, leaving residents to come up with their own plan.

But, one new apartment complex still under construction in midtown Oklahoma City has two different storm shelters designed to hold all their residents.

“Being in Oklahoma, in the middle of tornado alley, we kind of thought that 'Hey, let’s explore the idea of storm shelters,'” said Chris Fleming with Midtown Renaissance.

The Frank is set to open in June.

The owners decided to put in two different shelters that are basically FEMA rated bomb shelters.

They each have a restroom inside with reinforced concrete walls, a vault door and a second side emergency door.

“Basically, every tenant and their guest will be able to fit in the storm shelters we have in this building,” Fleming said.

Lauren Rossi lives on the third floor of her metro apartment complex, and there is no shelter there.

Luckily, her parents live in town, and they have one.

“If my parents weren’t here, I just, I don’t know what I would do. I would just be out of luck and hoping the tornado didn’t hit the apartment,” Rossi said.

The 4 Warn Storm Team’s Aaron Brackett was recently invited out to the Park at Tuscany apartments to give storm preparedness advice to their residents.

“If you live on the second or third floor, my advice, make friends with your friends, with your first floor neighbors. So, you want to get as low as you can, inside, most interior, smallest room away from windows,” Brackett said.

Brackett said it’s a common misconception you have to leave and find a shelter.

“Almost all tornadoes are weak tornadoes. They are perfectly survivable in an apartment complex. So, you gotta find that smallest room, most interior room.  You want as many walls between you and the outside as possible. You’re going to be okay,” he said.

Many bills have been introduced over the years that would require apartment complexes to have storm shelters, but none of them have ever been passed.