Archive for the ‘tornado’ Category

Tornado Safety Tips

March 22, 2012

Do you know what the American Red Cross says about Tornado Safety?

Click the link above and you will.

In addition to planning before hand, they recommend:

  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
    • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
    • Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.

Do you know where to shelter around your home, church, or work?

Take steps now to develop your plan.


2011 Tornado Deaths

January 19, 2012

With 2011 gone and 2012 before us, please take some time to review what happened across the USA this year in tornado deaths.

Can we say that Oklahoma faired better than the rest of the States with only 14 tornado deaths?  Texas and New Mexico recorded NO tornado deaths.

2011 closed out the books as the second deadliest year on record.  How will 2012 fair?

It will fair much better if residents will take the time now to plan.  How will you get a tornado warning?  Weather radio still remains a good option.  Cell phone and pager alerts are becoming more popular.

Residents will fair better if they have a plan.  Where will you go for severe weather?  Does your school have a plan?  What about your day care home or center?  Does your work have a plan?

Residents will fair better if they have a kit to support the plan.  How will you communicate with your loved ones that you are safe?  If you have to evacuate, where will you go?  Do you have your numbers for your insurance company?

Please plan now what you will do before tornado season 2012 starts.  WHAT?  There’s not a month that there has not had a tornado in Altus?  Plan now then.

Taking Shelter from the Storm

November 18, 2011

The City of Altus does not provide community storm shelters.  In the past many citizens were injured due to traffic accidents, slick roads, wind, hail, and lightning while trying to get to a public shelter during severe weather.

In an effort to protect the citizens, the City of Altus recommends sheltering in place or with neighbors during an emergency. The best choice for sheltering would be a safe room or storm shelter of your own or with a neighbor.

The State of Oklahoma has a grant program to help citizens pay for installation of storm shelters or safe rooms. All residents in the State of Oklahoma are eligible to apply, but funds are limited.

Grants for installation of storm shelters or safe rooms are awarded prior to construction and shelters must be built to FEMA specifications.  Shelters already completed or under construction are not eligible. Registration for the grants may be done online at 

Information on FEMA specifications for storm shelter and safe rooms may be found at Additional resources are on the National Safe Shelter Association web site

Once your safe shelter is built, register with your local Fire Department. In the event there is a collapse or debris blown on top of your shelter so you can’t escape, rescue personnel will know where to look.  

There’s a reason …

November 13, 2011

This is why one registers their cellar location with your local fire department.

This home owner was briefly trapped in this cellar. Friends had to
cut the tree away from the door.

Do you own a cellar? Does your fire department know you have one?

What happens after a tornado?

November 9, 2011

A survey team from the National Weather Service and emergency management tour the area.
The National Weather Service is interested in data that can be used to help prepare warnings and better buildings. The Emergency Manager is interested in knowing if you are OK, if you have a place to stay, if you have insurance, and help you process what has happened to you.

Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, left, and Jeff Rector, Tillman County Emergency Manager, survey the scene around a damaged home near Tipton, Oklahoma.

September 17, 2011

Recently, the Colston Clan paid a visit to #Joplin.  The devastation remains.  It is horrendous, even now. #NPM11 #OKready

From an emergency management perspective, debris management still goes on four months after the event.   Piles of “stuff” can be seen in the same area as bare dirt and concrete slabs.

Businesses remain closed.  Places we used to stop and shop are no longer able to conduct any transaction, except to sell the land that was laid bare.  The Red Hot and Blue just reopened this month.

Folks are still recovering.  Churches still minister.  Government still is helping the residents of the area.

I bet the residents of the area would still like you to pray for them.  The pictures don’t do justice.  At any rate, as part of National Preparedness Month, will you at least think about what you would be doing, if this were happening to you?  Please do something to make your reality what YOU want it to be.

Learn Disaster Communications

September 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2011 – Recent weather events such as Hurricane Irene, the earthquake on the East Coast and other natural disasters highlight the need for Americans to prepare for emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response are collaborating to launch a new preparedness web resource, Get Tech Ready, on behalf of the Readycampaign.
Released just before the start of National Preparedness Month, this new resource educates individuals and families about how using modern-day technology can help them prepare, adapt and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters.
A recent American Red Cross survey showed that the internet, including online news sites and social media platforms, is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.  
“As technology becomes more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to it during emergencies as well. We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because no matter how much federal, state and local officials do, we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team,” FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate.
“During Hurricane Irene, we saw people using new technologies in many ways, whether it was thousands of people downloading our new shelter finder App or others using our Safe and Well site and social media to let their friends and family know they are OK, ” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “People now have more varied resources available at their fingertips that they can use before, during and after emergencies.”
Get Tech Ready provides Americans with tips on how to use technological resources before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs. Preparedness tips on the website include:
  • Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available;  
  • Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere; and
  • Create an Emergency Information Document using the Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs or by downloading theReady Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.  
“Get Tech Ready is a resource that will truly help people in the US and around the world understand how they can use widely available technology to prepare for potential crises,” said Nigel Snoud, Product Manager, Google Crisis Response.  “We’re thrilled to be working with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the Ad Council on this public service project.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with FEMA, Google and the American Red Cross to expand our Ready messages through this new web site to educate more Americans about the vital need to get prepared in advance of an potential emergency,” said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of the Ad Council. “The web site will provide access to critical resources to Americans addressing the importance of using technology as part of their individual and family preparedness plans.”
Launched in 2003, National Preparedness Month is designed to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year. The Ready campaign was also launched in 2003 by FEMA in partnership with the Ad Council. Since its launch, media outlets have donated more than $900 million in advertising time and space for the PSAs. The new PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
FEMA does not endorse any non-Federal government organizations or products.

June 28, 2011

Did you see this on CraigsList?

You can own a “tornado” damaged property for $899,000.

Regardless of the wind storm or tornado issue, here’s some thinking to think.
The property was vacant from July 2008 until buildings began coming
back on line beginning Jan 2010 and all construction was completed in
August of this year.

That’s almost two years of no income for this property. Did the
owners have good insurance? Did the owners avail themselves of the
Small Business Administration help brought to the area when the
Presidential Disaster Declaration was administered by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency?

Connect to a Tweet from Ed Kostiuk:

5,000 jobs lost, 500 businesses impacted, 1,150 injuries, 624 families
now in temporary housing in Joplin, MO.

Finally, did you know that 40% of businesses never recover from a major disaster?  In Joplin, that’s 200 businesses that are closed and will likely not recover.

Is your business able to withstand an emergency? Many fail to reopen
after a small disaster, much less a federally-declared one.

Are YOU Ready?

Can you help the Small Business Administration?

February 11, 2009

While tornadoes typically occur between March and May in Oklahoma, with a second season in October through December, remember that tornadoes can occur at any time during any season.

From our Friends at the National Weather Service:

Public Information Statement

… february and deadly tornadoes…

tornadoes struck in central and south central oklahoma tuesday
evening affecting the cities of oklahoma city and edmond in central
oklahoma… and lone grove and ardmore in south central oklahoma.
storm survey teams will visit the affected areas on wednesday to
determine the details of these tornadoes.

… february tornadoes…

there have been 44 documented february tornadoes within the state of
oklahoma between 1950 and 2008.

there have been two previous deadly tornadoes in february in
oklahoma since 1950… both occurring on february 22 1975 in
southwestern oklahoma. on that day… one tornado struck altus
killing two people… and another tornado killed one person near
mountain park. these were two of six tornadoes that struck between
midnight and 3 am in oklahoma.

the strongest tornadoes since 1950 to have occurred within oklahoma
in february are two f3 tornadoes both that struck on february 17
1961. one f3 occurred in eastern oklahoma county from near spencer
to northeast of luther… and the other f3 was part of a tornadic
storm that moved from near stratford to konawa… wewoka and to
south of shulter.

before tuesday… the last february tornado in oklahoma occurred on
february 25 2000 in tulsa.

… deadly tornadoes…

a list of the deadliest tornadoes in oklahoma since 1950…

1. 36 fatalities 5/ 3/1999 f5 bridge creek – oklahoma city – moore
2. 20 5/25/1955 f5 blackwell
3. 16 5/ 5/1960 f4 wilburton – keota
16 5/ 5/1961 f4 talihina – reichert – howe
5. 14 6/ 8/1974 f4 drumright – olive – lake keystone
6. 10 1/22/1957 f4 gans
7. 8 4/26/1984 f3 morris
8. 7 5/ 9/1959 f4 north of harden city and stonewall
7 4/24/1993 f4 catoosa
10. 6 * 5/10/2008 f4 picher

* the picher tornado was responsible for 6 fatalities in oklahoma…
but 21 fatalities along its entire path in oklahoma and missouri.

a list of the deadliest tornadoes in oklahoma since 1882…

1. 116 fatalities 4/ 9/1947 woodward
2. 97 5/10/1905 snyder
3. 71 5/ 2/1920 peggs
4. 69 4/12/1945 antlers
5. 52 4/27/1942 pryor
6. 36 5/ 3/1999 bridge creek – oklahoma city – moore
7. 35 6/12/1942 oklahoma city /southwest/
8. 33 4/25/1893 cleveland county
9. 23 11/19/1930 bethany
10. 21 5/ 8/1882 mcalester

Now that you know that tornadoes can occur at any time, in any month:

1. Learn how to get warnings
2. Make a Plan
3. Make a Kit that supports the plan
4. Help your neighbors