Japanese TV Crew In Oklahoma To Learn More About Storm Shelters
A recent tornado in Japan is prompting a Japanese TV crew to borrow some sooner severe weather knowledge.
They're here to do a story about storm shelters, and picked Oklahoma for our experience and expertise.
When a tornado tore through a Tokyo suburb in early May, killing one person, injuring dozens and destroying hundreds of homes, many in Japan were caught off guard.
"This tornado is very, very unusual," said Kenzo Hashimoto with TV Asahi.
People and government leaders there are more accustomed to dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis than twisters. So a crew from TV Asahi, a Japanese television network, is in Oklahoma to learn more about storm shelters.
"We always understand that Oklahoma is one of the what the most frequent tornado happens right, in this state," Hashimoto said.
Producer Kenzo Hashimoto and the crew are touring several sites in Oklahoma, including the Jim Giles saferoom manufacturing facility in Sapulpa.
The Japanese tornado was the first to hit Japan in six years. Hashimoto says more people are now interested in finding out how to protect themselves from twisters.
"Lots of people I'm sure are getting more interested in this story," Hashimoto said.
News on 6 Meteorologist Tom Bennett is also the General Manager of Jim Giles safe rooms, and a Past President of the National Storm Shelter Association.
"Tornados can happen anywhere in the world," Bennett said. "It's just not with the same frequency that we see it here."
The Japanese news crew hopes to enlighten viewers about above and below ground shelters, by learning from experts in an area with a high frequency of tornados.
It's also hoped their report informs Japanese leaders about the life saving potential of public shelters.
"I'm sure Japanese people have never seen this thing," Hashimoto said.
The group also visited Oklahoma City. And after leaving the Tulsa area, the group will go to Woodward, which was recently hit by a tornado.