The City of Oklahoma City issued an advisory with links to information the city is providing to help citizens prepare for and respond to severe weather.
See the city’s website for a full range of tips about preparing for severe weather.
When the power goes out in a severe storm, battery-powered radios can still be used for information. Be sure to have flashlights and a number of new batteries for both devices.
More weather radios now have hand-powered cranks that keep the radio working even over long periods of time when normal batteries would drain.
The city provided a list of reliable sources for information when storms approach and while they are occurring.
- Local television and radio news stations.
- The Red Cross emergency smartphone/tablet app for iOS (Apple) and Android devices.
- The local National Weather Service website, mobile website and Twitter account.
- The City of Oklahoma City’s social media accounts.
Here are specific links to services provided by the city and the Emergency Management Services.
- Follow the City of Oklahoma City on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.
- Follow the Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
- Sign up for City of OKC news emails.
- Watch City Channel 20 on Cox Cable or live anywhere on YouTube.
- Download the OKC Connect smartphone app for Apple or Android.
Take shelter if you hear a siren
If you hear a siren, immediately take shelter and get more information about the storm.
OKC’s outdoor warning sirens sound in and near areas where the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning or where a spotter reports a tornado. There is no all-clear signal.
OKC tests its sirens at noon on Saturdays unless there’s a threat of inclement weather.
Use OKC’s Accessible Hazard Alert System to receive alerts in American Sign Language and English voice and text.
Shelter in place
In past years too many residents have tried to outrun a tornado in vehicles only to be caught in a traffic jam where they are exposed to life-threatening winds.
The Office of Emergency Management recommends people should shelter-in-place during tornado warnings. Oklahoma City does not have public storm shelters.
Shelter-in-place means to take shelter where you are and remain inside your home, workplace or nearby buildings.
If you don’t have a below-ground storm shelter, well-constructed homes and buildings provide life-saving protection from 98 percent of Oklahoma’s tornadoes.
Take shelter in a closet, interior hallway or other interior room with no windows on the lowest level of the house or building. Put on a helmet if you have one, and wear sturdy shoes in case you later have to walk through debris.
People who live in trailers or manufactured homes should have a plan to seek shelter in a well-constructed building nearby.
People who live in upper levels of apartment buildings should seek shelter in an apartment on the lowest level.
Vehicles are among the most dangerous places to be during a tornado. Find a nearby building to shelter in if you are driving during a tornado warning. Never seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass.
If you are stranded outside, lie down in a ditch or low-lying area away from your vehicle.
The best way to protect yourself from tornadoes at home is to install a safe room or below-ground storm shelter. Safe rooms and storm shelters designed and built to FEMA guidelines and ICC 500 standards will protect against the force of extreme winds up to 250 mph.
Register your storm shelter
If you have a storm shelter that is not registered with the City, do so by registering it online at this link or calling the City’s Action Center at (405) 297-2535 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Disasters and pets
- Create a plan that includes your pets and make sure everyone in the home is aware of individual expectations, communication and meeting locations.
- Always keep a collar and tag on pets. Include your name, phone number and email on the tag and write it with permanent ink on the inside of the collar. We also recommend a form of permanent identification such as a microchip or tattoo for all animals.
- Create a disaster bag for your pet. It should include a copy of your pet’s medical records, a photo of your pet, copies of your pet’s identifications, food, water, medications, leash, bowls, bedding, litter/box and a carrier to transport your pet.
- Start a buddy system with your neighbors to check on each other’s pets if you are not home after a disaster.
- Make sure your pet is free of disease and up-to-date on vaccinations so it will be accepted into a facility if necessary.
- Know the phone number and address of the Animal Shelter so you can find out about temporary evacuation locations for your pet or know where to go if you lost your pet during a disaster. Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is at 2811 SE 29th Street and can be reached at (405) 297-3100.