Finding a 'safe place' in the storm

Monday, May 5th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Sunday's storm produced one of the deadliest outbreaks in recent years. Those who live in houses are urged to go to take shelter somewhere in their home.

But what if you live in an apartment or are away from home. What do you do to stay safe? News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says it's one of America's favorite past times, baseball.

And while Tulsa Driller fans are enjoying the game. The News on 6's Warn team is keeping an eye on the weather. "We do have a live feed with Channel 6's radar. We know we well in advance if something's happening." So, if you happen to be at Driller's stadium during severe weather, Operations Director Mark Hilliard says there's a plan in place to keep you safe. "We would direct people to go to the safe places on the concourse. The restrooms, office building and the clubhouse."

Now, what if live in a high-rise apartment, like the Vintage Apartments at 81st and Yale? Last weekend's storm prompted residents asking where they can go if a tornado warning is issued. Property Manager Michelle Ross says while they don't have a set plan in place they go offer places on site for residents to take shelter. “We always offer the clubhouse. We have two restrooms that are in the middle of the building."

Which is exactly what News on 6 Chief Meteorologist Jim Giles says to do. "The winds increase with height so you want to get to the lowest floor of the building and you want to stay away from the south and west sides of buildings." Jim says the smaller the room the safer. Go to a bathroom or closet in the middle of your home and cover up with clothes, pillows or blankets to protect yourself from flying debris.

If you happen to be on the road, take shelter in a permanent structure as quickly as possible. As a second resort you can lie in a culvert or a ditch. And if you happen to drive near an underpass, take shelter there, but use only as a last resort. “Think ahead and don't be caught on the road if at all possible."

The News on 6 Warn Weather Team has this brochure filled with tips to keep you and your family safe. You can send a self-addressed, business-sized envelope to KOTV. PO Box 6, Tulsa Oklahoma, Zip 74101. You can also find the information our web site on the weather page mentioning SAFETY TIPS.