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Tips To Stay Safe During Severe Oklahoma Weather

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Everyone should get familiar with the terms used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe weather hazards include the following:

Watch: Meteorologists are monitoring an area or region for the formation of a specific type of threat (e.g. flooding, severe thunderstorms, or tornadoes).

• Tune in using a battery-powered weather radio, television, or stream News On 6 weather coverage from your mobile device. If News On 6 goes into live severe weather coverage, you will be able to stream from your mobile devices from anywhere. Read about NewsOn6.com live streaming here.


Warning: Specific life- and property-threatening conditions are occurring and imminent. Take appropriate safety precautions.

• Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit. Residents of mobile homes must plan in advance and identify safe shelter in a nearby building.

• If you are in a sturdy structure, such as a home, school or hospital, go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an 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.

• Cover yourself with pillows, a mattress or blankets and wear a helmet and shatter-resistant goggles. Keep a pair of sturdy shoes on.

• DO NOT open windows.

• 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.

• DO NOT take shelter under an underpass or bridge. It is not safe since it can leave you exposed to flying debris.

• After a disaster, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.

• DO NOT touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.

• If heavy rains are likely in your area, be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.

• Be aware of the counties, cities and towns that are near you. It will be easier to track the tornado's direction if you are familiar with the geography of your area. 

To see a map of Oklahoma's 77 counties, click here. It appears at the bottom of the page.


Oklahoma's weather is unpredictable, so a disaster kit is vital in every home. Read about what you should keep in your Weather Alert kit.

 

FEMA contributed to this story.

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