It's severe weather season again in Texoma.  Many of us who have lived here all our lives can take it for granted or dismiss it as 'normal.'  It only takes one 'abnormal' day to change your life and, whether you're new to the area or have lived here forever, you need to make sure you are prepared for severe weather.

It's not all about tornadoes.  High wind and hail do a lot of damage and are much more common in our area but we believe if you prepare for the worst, you'll be prepared for everything.

First -- Make a Plan with your family about where to go, what to do, how to get in touch and where to meet if you are not all together.  Click the image from Ready.gov for a one-sheet information form that can help your family know where to go and how to stay connected during an emergency.

Second -- Keep Listening to us.  Have fresh batteries in that portable radio and change them every year.  Radio stations go off the air -- but we usually have backup transmitters and emergency power that will keep us on the air for as long as possible.  TV is usually out of reach as soon as your power goes out so radio is your best emergency bet.

Third -- Build Your Kit and keep it in the place you go when the alarms sound.  If you want to know what should be in your kit:  Click Here

If you've never been around a tornado, you might want to brush up on the signs of severe weather.  Of course, if you hear the sirens, that means take cover IMMEDIATELY.

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are in: Then:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.
A manufactured home or office
  • Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter

If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.