Spring has arrived in Oklahoma, which means that storm season is also here. Oklahomans are no strangers to severe thunderstorms. However, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the best ways to stay safe during a storm and to practice your safety precautions for the year. To help you get prepared, we’ve asked our friend and resident meteorologist Gary England to take over this month’s Top 5 list. Who better to give us tips about staying safe this spring than the “Weather God” himself? Take it away Gary!

  1. Weather Awareness: Each day, stay weather aware.  Check your favorite weather app for
    the risk of severe weather each morning, afternoon and evening.  
  2. Home Safety: If you do not have a tornado shelter at home, check with a neighbor to see if you can use their shelter.  If not, select the safest spot in your home, preferably a small room (closet, etc.) in the middle of the structure with no windows.  If the middle location is not available, select a small room on a north or west wall; put on a helmet and shatter resistant glasses.  Get on the floor and curl up with pillows and blankets on and around you.  
  3. Shelter Planning:  Plan ahead, locate a safe shelter in your area that you can go to in case of a significant tornado.  Keep in mind, it is a really bad idea to be in a vehicle when a tornado hits.  
  4. Route Survey: Survey your routes to and from work and note any brick or steel buildings
    that would provide safe shelter.  Do the same for the shopping centers and stores you
  5. Stay Calm: Keep in mind, most tornadoes are small and are not much of a threat, but occasionally tornadoes of significant strength, high-end EF3 - 111 to 135 mph and stronger do occur.  The only good thing about a big, strong tornado is that we know where it is and where it is going, and therefore, warnings are usually well in advance of the tornado reaching your location.  Stay calm and take your preplanned safety precautions in the event of a tornado warning.