Oklahoma is infamous for its tornadoes and severe weather. Unfortunately, these tornadoes and storms can pack quite the punch and leave many Oklahomans without power and even without homes. Knowing how to prepare and what to do before storms hit in the spring is essential. Having an emergency plan, preparing your home, signing up for weather notifications and staying educated are important storm preparedness tips all Oklahoma citizens should know and practice. Below are how to implement some storm preparation tips for Oklahomans and those who have frequent storms.
Emergency Storm Plan
You and your family should discuss an emergency action plan before storms hit your area. These kinds of plans should include where you take shelter if necessary, where you gather once the storm has passed, a list of essential items to grab, and anything else your household has discussed prior. An emergency disaster supply kit is also a great idea for areas like Oklahoma that experience severe weather. A disaster supply kit can include:
- Water (at least one gallon per person)
- Non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio
- First Aid kit
- Extra batteries
Putting an emergency storm plan in place, including a disaster supply kit, helps keep you safe when severe weather strikes. An emergency action plan is essential for proper preparedness.
Prepare Your Home
There are a few ways you can prepare your home before tornado season rolls through Oklahoma. If you don’t have a basement and you are able, install a storm shelter in your garage or near your home to increase safety. You can also install retractable storm shutters on any of your windows to minimize damages inside your home. Installing a storm shelter and shutters can protect you from flying debris and keep you prepared through the storm season.
Before tornado season hits, you should also trim any weak/damaged branches or tree limbs within your property. Tree branches or limbs can quickly become dangerous if winds are picking up during a storm. Trim your trees to minimize flying debris and possible damages to your home. Clean up any debris you might have around your home like wood or large rocks. If you know a storm is headed your way, you should also bring in any outdoor furniture, grills, or potted plants. If you can’t bring these items inside, make sure they are secured or tied down so they won’t fly around during the storm.
Local Weather Notifications
When severe weather hits Oklahoma, there’s a chance power lines might go down, leaving you without electricity. This means you might not be able to watch the news or the weather channel for updates. If you have a smartphone, you should download your local news channel’s weather app. The apps are usually free, and you can turn notifications on to keep you up to date on the progress of the storm. You can usually modify what kind of notifications you want, too. If you want to be notified only if there’s a tornado warning in your area, you can usually do that! Weather notifications on your smartphone can keep you safe and help you better prepare before the rain and wind hit your area.
Stay Educated on Severe Weather
An underrated yet important part of storm preparedness is staying educated on severe weather. You should be aware of the types of warnings and watches meteorologists use to communicate weather in the area. You can find charts online that indicate what each warning and watch mean according to the National Weather Service. If you live in an area that has frequent storms, pay attention to your local meteorologists suggestions. If your county is under a tornado warning, know that you will have to take shelter. Make sure you know the best and safest shelter for you in accordance with the layout of your home or property.
Thorough storm preparation can potentially save your life and keep the damages to a minimum. Take the time to create an emergency storm plan with your household for safety and prepare your home for storm season before it’s too late! You should also turn on any local weather notifications if you are able and stay educated on the types of warnings/watches. These storm preparation tips for Oklahomans really can help keep you safe during unprecedented storms. If you need assistance with storm preparation, contact our team at Burggraf to answer any of your questions!