Inola Family Safe After Being Trapped in Storm Shelter

Friday, July 15th 2016, 5:56 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

An Inola family says they're safe now after being trapped in a shelter during Thursday's storms.  

They want others to learn from what happened to them so everyone can be prepared during situations like theirs.

The Baker family took shelter inside for about 30 minutes, and when they decided to get out, they discovered part of a tree was completely covering the door, and they were stuck inside.

"My worst fear come true,” DJ Baker said. “I always get scared that we're gonna get trapped in there."

Baker's fiancee Heidi says they got in the shelter at just the right time.

“By that time, I mean, the wind just picked up, and you could hear, it sounded like a train,” she said. “And then you could hear everything just kind of going everywhere."

Getting out became the problem.

"Luckily we had cell phone service, so we were able to text his mom and them to tell us that 'hey, I think we're stuck,'" she said.

Heidi says they always remind friends and family they'll be in the shelter when storms roll through.

But while waiting for help they were on their own.

DJ could lift the door enough to see tree leaves surrounded the only way out.

"Realized I couldn't open it, and …I started panicking, so I started hitting it, and hitting it and hitting it,” he said. “Finally, I was able to, you know, get about that much room and squeeze my belly somehow through there."

Once he got out, DJ pulled the tree out of the way, freeing Heidi and their 1-year-old daughter, who proved to be a key source of comfort.

"Every time I kept looking back, my daughter Nova, she was just laughing and giggling, so that kinda calmed me down,” he said.

In Rogers County, it's optional to register your storm shelter, which is why the emergency manager says if you go inside, let your family, friends and neighbors know that’s where you might be when a storm hits.

They said if you're in Rogers County and want to register your shelter, you can call 918-923-4413.