Oklahoma storm season is fast approaching, and with it, comes the reminder of what has happened in the past storm seasons that has left many without power, property damaged and even loss of lives. This time however, we need to take sometime to prepare ourselves. It’s the responsible thing to do. Like a wise man once said, To be forewarned is to be forearmed. In this article we’ll explore a broad list of ways that you need to prepare for the storm season in Oklahoma. While this article is specific to Oklahoma, I’m sure you can apply it to your area.
Have a Plan
Sounds simple but if you don’t have a plan of response you may find yourself panicking and doing all the wrong things. The first thing you need to do is sit down and discuss with your family or friends about the best actions to take. It may surprise you to find that although this is a tornado state, many people have not taken time to plan for a possible tornado storm.
Let your family know where to seek shelter, where the emergency kits are (you’ll need to put one together), and how to stay connected during the storm. At the same time, discuss different scenarios that can occur during a storm and how one would react to it.
Prepare Emergency Kits
The next thing you need to do is put together an emergency kit for you and each member of your family. This emergency kit should, at a minimum, contain non-perishable food, emergency blanket, water, pocket knife, first aid kit and a change of clothes, a flashlight, and an emergency radio. Have all this in individual bags that are easily accessible by members of your family. Sometimes a tornado can develop very quickly when you are at work while your kids are at home so make sure they know where these kits are.
Families with pets need to take extra caution to also have emergency kits for their pets. Depending on the type of pet, you may need the following:
- make sure your pet has a tag and that the information on the tag is current,
- have a recent photo of your pet for identification purposes,
- pet food
- first aid kit
There’s a more complete list of items you need for your pet here: https://www.ready.gov/animals .
Know Where To Take Shelter
Where you shelter during a storm in Oklahoma is very important as it may mean life or death. You need to think of shelter in a number of scenarios:
- when you’re at your home: you need to figure out if your home is safe enough for you to shelter there or not,
- when you’re at work: most commercial buildings are not built to withstand the kind of tornadoes in the state so it’s better to find a shelter near your workplace,
- when you’re on the road: it is strongly advised that you try and get to a shelter as soon as you can or if it’s too late, find a ditch to hide in
Communicate with your loved ones about these scenarios so they’re also aware about what to do before the storm.
One great way to secure your family without having to travel to storm shelters, is to install a storm shelter or safe room on your own property. We discussed the different types of shelters in an earlier article, which you can read here, and decide what is right for you. At Preferred Shelters, we have installed hundreds of storm shelters in Oklahoma homes and would be happy to do the same for you. Give us a call today: (405) 702-1717 or use our contact page.
Stay Aware and Connected
Before the storm, there’s always news going from different sources tracking the storm pattern and development. It can be overwhelming to listen to all the news in different forms. The most important piece of information that you need to know is the counties where there’s more activity developing. This piece of information can help you better respond and take shelter in good time. This may be a good time to use your emergency radio as well.
Clear Your Backyard
While preparing for Oklahoma storm, it’s important to take care of all the stuff around us that may cause more damage during a storm. Because almost all storms cause very high speed winds, we need to remove anything that can be easily picked up by the winds and used to cause damage to our property, cars, or even other people. Most items we put in the back yard, for example, can be picked up by strong winds and tossed elsewhere.
Being prepared for the storms should be a part of Oklahoma living. It’s not a matter of if, but when the storms will come. That’s one thing you can be sure about Oklahoma weather. Take caution and be prepared.