Wagoner County Officials Educate Residents Ahead Of Spring Storms

Saturday, March 29th 2014, 6:39 pm
By: News On 6

Wagoner County emergency responders are encouraging residents to get ready for the spring storm season.

They held their annual emergency preparedness expo today in Coweta.

The county's emergency manager said last year's tornado taught them some valuable lessons.

A tornado hit eastern Broken Arrow last spring and the man in charge of managing disasters in Wagoner County said they've been working all year to make a few changes and get ready for this upcoming storm season.

Stacey Jones spent Saturday morning with her two kids at the Wagoner County Emergency Expo.

"I'm hoping to learn a little bit more on how to protect my family during a tornado so that we can all be safe," Jones said.

The kids enjoyed the view from behind the steering wheel in a Coweta fire truck or getting their fingerprints taken.

"Just because if I got lost they can find me," 8-year-old Audree Jones said.

Jones was learning the best way to develop a plan should disaster strike.

"If I'm prepared, then it won't be a big issue," Stacey Jones said.

Wagoner County Emergency Manager Heath Underwood said: "We have storm shelters. We have a lot of generators. We have a lot of preparedness stuff that's out here."

He said things have changed since last May, that's when a 6-mile long, EF-2 tornado ripped through a Broken Arrow neighborhood with winds topping 125 miles per hour.

Underwood said the county has added three storm spotter cars equipped with radar, in addition to two command centers, three rescue trucks and two Kawasaki rescue mules.

He said the additional storm spotters will improve response time and give rescue teams a better idea of where and when to go after the storm has passed.

"We're ready," Underwood said. "We've been working all winter to get all of our trucks ready and all of our generators ready and all of our light towers and all of that kind of stuff. We're ready."

As the Jones kids enjoyed a tour of Osage SkyNews 6, their mom said events like this are good for the community and her family.

"It's always nice to have a refresher just to make sure that all the steps are in order and I'm not missing anything," she said.