Sapulpa Joins the List of Storm Ready Communities

Sunday, March 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If severe weather does hit Green Country tomorrow, one local city is ready. Their new weapon? A state-of-the-art siren system which can alert the entire city when disaster hits. The new system makes Sapulpa one of only 20 “Storm Ready” communities in the state. To learn more about the “Storm Ready” program, visit the National Weather Service Storm Ready pages.

May 3rd, 1999 is a day most of us will never forget. The day a string of twisters ripped through Green Country and some surrounding cities, including Sapulpa.

The aftermath: homes and buildings destroyed, dozens of people killed and hundreds more injured.

The devastating effects of the May 3rd tornadoes have prompted Sapulpa to become “Storm Ready.”

Captain Rick Rumsey - Sapulpa Police Department: "The city has a responsibility to warn the citizens of upcoming storms."

Now they can do that - thanks to the new outdoor warning system. The system uses four different tones: one each for tornado, flooding, hazmat and "all clear".

Captain Rumsey : "This system has a public P-A system, so for example if we have a chemical spill on the highway we can warn the public in this area what they need to do to protect themselves."

There are speakers throughout the city. Sapulpa police Captain Rick Rumsey and chiefs from both the police and fire departments will have walkie-talkies which they can activate from wherever they are.

Captain Rumsey : "See how it says tornado.. all I have to do is push the button one time."

If they see what they believe to be a tornado, they will call the Emergency Dispatch Center ... then sound the storm siren which will immediately notify the entire city of the disaster.

Captain Rumsey : "Whether we evacuate them or stay in their residence, they'll be able to hear the PA system that will give them the orders they need."

The new system usually costs about $250,000. But thanks to the Bartlett Foundation, Sapulpa's Police department paid only $20,000.

Listen to samples of the different warnings at