Sand Springs is now a ' Storm Ready' community

Monday, October 24th 2005, 5:11 pm
By: News On 6

Folks in Sand Springs are being certified "storm-ready." The National Weather Service made it official on Monday. Emergency managers say it's a safety net some parts of their community desperately need.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says we know how fast severe weather can sneak up on any community. The city of Sand Springs borders 4 different counties and folks there say some parts of town aren't alerted until storms are practically on top of them. That’s where the emergency management office comes in.

Artie Palk watches internet radars, and weather reports from local and national news stations. He talks with storm spotters in the field, and experts at the National Weather Service to get the latest information. The whole system has built-in backups. If one of his computers fail, the other one should always work, and if Palk can't sound the storm sirens, the folks at the 911 dispatch center can.

He says it's all about getting the best information and getting it out quickly to keep people safe. "Alerts and warnings are designed for people to get their attention, turn on your television, turn on your radio, and listen, look, and be alert: things are happening.”

Sand Springs joins 10 other Oklahoma towns, which are being added this year to the list of Storm-Ready communities nationwide. That brings Oklahoma's total to 39, the same number as Texas, a state "six times" our size.