Residents Learn About Tornado Preparedness In Little Axe - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Residents Learn About Tornado Preparedness In Little Axe

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The May 19, 2013 tornado devastated the community of Little Axe. [file photo] The May 19, 2013 tornado devastated the community of Little Axe. [file photo]
LITTLE AXE, Oklahoma -

With severe storm season around the corner, the Red Cross says now is the time to be prepared.

At a church in Little Axe, dozens packed the place to learn how to get their homes ready in case of a tornado.

Some of them have already experienced what tornados can do.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Different from a traditional service at the First Baptist Church. Saturday's message was on storm preparation.

"It's important for everyone to just have a basic plan," said Tamara Pratt of the American Red Cross. "And so many of us just don't do it, whether we're storm victims or not."

The Red Cross served barbecue dinners for local residents and gave them some food for thought.

"And more importantly, we're actually having a dialogue with the folks to make sure they have some time of preparedness plan in their mind or at least thinking about it, so they'll be ready when that next storm season rolls around," Pratt said.

 Storm victims like Shalan Pearson-Despain lost everything in the May 19, 2013 tornado.

 "Our home was totally destroyed," she said. "We came out to absolutely nothing but the blocks and the cement slab."

She says she's thankful the Red Cross is equipping her family with a duffle bag filled with a first-aid kit, smoke detector, alarm clock, flashlight, flash drive, whistle, two radios and batteries.

"Sometimes people just don't think about those types of things like batteries and radios and things like that because they don't think it's going to happen to them, and unbelievably, we thought the same thing, and it did," Pearson-Despain said.

"You need to have your kit ready to go with any personal items, put that in a bag to place in a storm shelter, and not just for tornadoes but for earthquakes too."

The Red Cross says it will be holding community dinners like the one Little Axe in several tornado-affected areas in the coming weeks.

To speak with an Oklahoman Disaster Recovery Project case manager, call: 1-866-477-7276.

For more disaster-ready tips you can click here

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