Having a tornado plan and constantly communicating that plan to your family and friends can be your key to survival. Hereís information that can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of these powerful storms.
Monitor weather conditions
Wherever you are during a severe weather threat, be sure to be aware of the weather and have different ways to get information.
At least one method should work without electricity, without batteries and without a cellular or Wi-Fi signal, such as a weather radio with a hand-powered crank. Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news organizations or official social media accounts for emergency information.
Outdoor warning sirens
Nichols Hills has 2 outdoor warning sirens citywide.
When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, they draw a polygon on a map showing where the storm is and where it is believed to be heading. The City then activates all the sirens.
Although the sirens can often be heard indoors, their primary purpose is to alert people who are outside that a tornado threat is nearby.
Unless thereís a threat of severe weather, the sirens will be tested at noon on Saturdays. Anyone who hears them reports a bell like sound during testing.
Make a plan
Talk about tornadoes with your family. You may not be with your loved ones when disaster strikes, so itís important to have a plan about how and where youíll reconnect.
Take into consideration what you will do if there is spotty or non-existent cell service. Visit Ready.gov and use their form to create a Family Emergency Communication Plan. Make sure everyone understands the plan and review it on days there is a higher chance of severe storms. You canít overcommunicate with your family and friends.
Visit with your childís school about their tornado plan and donít forget to make a plan for your pets.
Build a kit
An emergency supply kit can help you survive on your own for several days after an emergency. Build a kit that you and your family can survive on for 72 hours. includes items your household depends on like medicine, water, an extra cell phone battery, a weather radio, flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, infant formula and diapers and pet food.
Register your storm shelter
Is your storm shelter registered with Oklahoma City and is your contact information up to date? If not, log on to the City website and click the ďregister my storm shelterĒ link under the visitor heading at the top of the page. The Storm Shelter Registry is a free, voluntary service that allows you to provide information about your storm shelter so police, fire and emergency responders can find you in case of an emergency. If you donít have internet access, just call the Fire Department at (405) 843-8526.
Resist the urge to rush to the scene of a disaster to help until the local community has requested volunteers. Self-deployment of unaffiliated responders can create another level of chaos in an already complex and dangerous environment.
How to help
When disaster strikes, the best way to support people affected by the disaster is by making cash donations to reputable organizations responding to the disaster. Cash donations allow relief organizations or survivors to purchase what they need, when and where they need it. Buying supplies locally helps local businesses and keeps tax revenues in the community.