If you’ve braved one or more springs on the prairie then you know that the sound of tornado sirens going off is just as familiar as the birds chirping as warmer weather approaches. Even the seasoned Okie veterans that have survived everything may need reminding here and there of what to do if David Payne, Damon Lane, or Aaron Tuttles declares that a tornado is headed that way and to take shelter. Below are some precautions to take as the season where Tornado Alley gets its name from arrives.
1. If you have a storm shelter, register its location with the city.
Registering your shelter’s exact location will let rescue workers know where to find you it if a disaster covers it with debris. This is what allowed many people to be saved within the first few hours following the Piedmont tornadoes. To register your shelter in Oklahoma city, call the Action Center at 405 297-2535. To register in Yukon go online to http://www.cityofyukonok.gov/online-forms/storm-shelter-registry.
2. Have a safety plan for your family and practice, practice, practice.
Designate an area in your home as a shelter, and regularly practice having your family go there as if there were a tornado. Make sure your family knows the difference between a “tornado watch” and a “tornado warning.”
3. Have disaster supplies on hand.
- Flashlight and extra batteries (do not use candles or open flame devices!)
- Portable, battery operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- A set of spare keys to vehicles
- Personal identification
- Camera with several rolls of film (for documenting your damage)
4. Develop an emergency communications plan.
Have a plan for getting back together in case family members are separated from one another during a tornado. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to act as the family contact. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person
5. Make sure your home is insured correctly.
Spring is great time to check if you have your home, contents, sheds, garages, and other items insured correctly and to the full value.
Spring is a great time to schedule an insurance review. If you have questions regarding your Oklahoma City home insurance, call your agent. If they can’t help, ECI is always here.