Make sure you know where a safe storm shelter is located in neighborhood
Surviving spring storms in Oklahoma. Severe weather is a fact of life in Oklahoma. We had our first big round last week. And more could be in store soon.
With so many storms in our state, you might be surprised to know that Tulsa has no public storm shelters. But you might try a Broken Arrow woman's idea.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says Erin Jones had her strategy set before a twister swept through the Broken Arrow area last week. "And if the storm sirens went off, we were going to go 3 houses down to the neighbor who has a basement." And sure enough the sirens did. Berg: "Is this basically the way that you went?" Erin Jones: "Yeah, got my stuff, actually we were running."
Erin says she used to take storms lightly, but that was before she had little daughter Hailey. "We sang, thunder, thunder go away, remember."
Last year, many people and their kids, even their pets, descended on the Education Service Center, after a miscommunication that it was open to the public. In fact there are not public storm shelters in Tulsa or in Broken Arrow. â€œAfter seeing all the people unprepared in Moore and Oklahoma City when those hit, it's just scary." Berg: "Was this a plan that you had planned out before or was this just kind of a spur of the moment decision?" Erin Jones: "My neighbor had always told me that if the storm gets bad enough to come over."
Great idea says News on 6 Chief Meteorologist Jim Giles, but he says be absolutely sure you give yourself enough time. "If you can see the tornado, it's too late. You need to make that move 20, 30 minutes ahead of that storm coming into your neighborhood."
Berg: "That's a pretty long walk?â€ Erin Jones: "Very short run, long walk, but short run."
Erin has had two-and-a-half years to get to know her neighbors, but if you're new to Oklahoma or new to your neighborhood, it might pay to get acquainted and find out if anyone has a basement or a cellar and figure out where to go ahead of time.