Everything you need to know before severe weather strikes

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This time of year, Oklahomans need to think about their options long before severe weather strikes.

Make sure you have a safety plan for you and your family in place before the storms hit.

Here are some preparation tips:

  • Designate a place to go if necessary when a tornado watch or warning is issued
  • Designate a meeting place for friends or family if you are separated after a tornado strikes
  • Have insurance policy numbers and your agent’s contact information
  • Have key telephone numbers for your utility providers, including gas, water and electricity
  • Make sure to have your cell phone fully charged before a storm or make sure you have an alternative power source available
  • Have a battery operated or hand-crank radio or TV
  • Make sure you download the Go4It and 4WarnMe Apps on your smartphone. Live streaming is available to keep your family safe along with live radar

What you need to do if a Tornado Warning is issued:

  • Find shelter inside: A basement, underground shelter or certified safe-room are your best options. If you do not have access to those go to a closet or small interior room as shelter.
  • Cover yourself with a mattress or heavy blankets and stay away from windows.
  • If there’s no shelter, get to the lowest level of the building and get into the interior-most hallway or room without windows.
  • People in apartments should get to an apartment on the lowest level of their building and get to an interior, window-less room.
  • Use helmets, goggles and make sure to have heavy-soled shoes. You may also want to stock your safe area with bottled water and a coat or jacket for each person.
  • Do not take shelter in a manufactured home.

If you are on the road when a Tornado Warning is issued: 

  • If you see a tornado leave your car and find shelter.
  • Do not seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass.
  • If stranded outside, lie down in a low-lying area away from vehicles, but remain aware of possible flash flooding.
  • Do not seek shelter in drainage systems, culverts or ditches due to possible flash flooding.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • Wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are the most dangerous during the first ten minutes of a heavy downpour as oil and debris wash away. Driving on wet roads in the rain is comparable to driving on ice. Go Slow. Allow extra time.
  • Never use your vehicle’s cruise control setting when roadways are slick.

15 things you need to create your own survival kit:

  • 3 day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • All current prescription medications (oxygen tank for those who need it)
  • First aid kit (make sure you have antiseptic cleansers)
  • Food that won’t spoil, and a can opener
  • Trash bags
  • Battery-powered weather radio, extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • One change of clothes and footwear per person
  • One blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Cash or credit card
  • Special  items for infant, elderly or disabled family members and pets
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water
  • Make copies of your important documents and papers
  • Cell phone
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask for each family member
  • Miscellaneous tools: wrench, pliers, screw drivers, hammer


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