Emergency managers urge you to make a plan before a tornado strikes


Moore tornado May 20

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This time of year, residents without an underground shelter need to think about their options long before severe weather strikes.

If a tornado threatens your home, make sure you have a plan.

Emergency management experts urge you to know where you would take shelter, at work and at home.

If you live in a mobile home or an upstairs apartment, find a safer place to go before the storm hits.

“An option might be to get to know the person on the first floor, your neighbor, who in time of inclement weather you could hopefully shelter with them,” Michelann Ooten, with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said.

If you hear tornado sirens, emergency managers advise you to take shelter in place.

“The lowest, center most, away from windows. That’s the place you’re going to want to shelter you and your family,” Ooten said.

You should also wear something to protect your head, like a helmet or hard hat.

The City of El Reno announced that ahead of Friday’s storms, El Reno Public Schools will open their shelters to the public at 2 p.m.

Meteorologist Aaron Brackett says you do not want to get caught outside during severe weather.

“The most dangerous place you can be is outside in the open. You do not want to be out there for purposes of hail, tornadoes, and lightning,” Brackett said.

If you do find yourself outside in a storm, find a business or home for shelter. It is not safe to take cover under highway overpasses.

For more safety tips visit the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management here.


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