Aware & Prepared
Natural disasters and how you can prepare.
Most Canadians living in Oklahoma tend to really enjoy the weather. But Oklahoma does experience extreme weather, so it is important to be prepared.
Summer is typically very hot and humid. Average summer temperatures have the temperature and 32 degrees Celsius on 70 days of the year and 38 degrees Celsius on 10 or more days. It is not uncommon for families to stay inside with the air conditioning or be found enjoying the outdoor pools!
Fall is a beautiful season with warm temperatures; a great season to be active and enjoy the outdoors.
Winter is generally fairly mild. There are usually above freezing temperatures with little to no snow. Some years, however, it is possible to have snow accumulation, although it typically does not last long. Ice storms are not uncommon in the winter months.
Spring comes early but it is the wild season! It is not uncommon to see a fair amount of rain - sometimes causing flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, large hail….and tornadoes.
Tornadoes in Oklahoma are a real concern and can be scary for most. The state is located in the midst of tornado alley and it is something everyone needs to be prepared for. The good news is the more prepared and educated…the better! Although tornadoes are most common in April and May, they can occur in any month of the year.
Oklahoma is VERY prepared for tornadoes. Many homes have storm / tornado shelters located on the property, many being located in the floor of the garage. They are an underground bunker of sorts that are typically made of steel or fiberglass. They are designed to keep you, your family, and your pets safe in the event a tornado passes through your area. Your home tornado shelter should be registered. This way if a tornado passes through, an emergency team will be sent in to check your shelter. Many public facilities are also equipped with emergency shelters, and schools are equipped with safe rooms for students and staff.
If you are inside, and do not have an emergency shelter, choose a location that has as many interior walls as possible – smaller rooms tend to be stronger. This helps minimize the risks of an exterior wall falling or being impaled. Attempt to get under something sturdy and cover yourself with blankets if at all possible.
Weather alerts are a great way to stay prepared and informed. There are many local weather apps that can be downloaded to your cell and will inform you when there are alerts, watches, warnings, or advisories in your area.
Outdoor warning systems / tornado sirens are located throughout the state and are activated when the National Weather Service, located in Norman, OK, has issued a tornado warning. There are 182 sirens throughout the greater OKC area. The sirens are tested every Saturday at noon, unless there is a real threat possible for that day. The system will only set off the alarms in your area if the tornado threat is close to you. When you hear the alarms, it is a sign to take shelter immediately.
An emergency / tornado kit is a great thing to prepare within the first week in Oklahoma. This should be a container or bag that is either kept in your shelter or somewhere within quick reach whenever you need to go into the shelter.
National Weather Service, Norman, OK
To Register Your Storm Shelter:
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Preparedness – Tornadoes
Ready.gov - Tornadoes
American Red Cross, Teaching Kids About Emergency Preparedness
City of Edmond Emergency Management - Tornadoes
OKC Emergency Management – Tornadoes
City of Moore, Emergency Preparedness and Resources - Tornadoes