Tornado Safety Tips

Tuesday, December 18th 2007, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

Tornadoes are Mother Nature's most violent storms. In a matter of seconds a tornado can destroy a neighborhood or take a life. Following safety precautions during a tornado can increase your and your family's chances of survival.

Every year about 1,000 tornadoes touchdown in the U.S., while some are clearly visible others may be totally rain-wrapped. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge (right-rear quadrant) of a thunderstorm. The first step in staying safe from a tornado is staying tuned to News 9 Chief Meteorologist Gary England and the News 9 weather team. If a tornado watch or warning is issued in your area, Gary and his staff of meteorologists will hit the airwaves and let you know when and where the storms will strike.

A tornado watch means there is a chance of tornadoes while a warning means a tornado has been observed or is indicated on radar.

Tornado Safety Tips

• The best shelter from a tornado is a safe room, basement or storm cellar. If those are not available, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest level of the structure, preferably a closet or bathroom. Place as many walls between you and the outside as possible.

• Cover yourself with pillows, a mattress or blankets and wear a helmet and shatter resistant goggles. Keep your shoes on.

• Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during a tornado. If you feel your home is unsafe, move to a preselected shelter before the storm arrives.

• Avoid windows and do not take shelter in halls that open to the outside.

• If you are in a vehicle, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.

• DO NOT take shelter under an underpass or bridge. It is not safe since it can leave you exposed to flying debris.

• Be aware of the counties, cities and towns that are near you. It will be easier to track the tornado's direction if you are familiar with the geography of your area. A map of the counties in Oklahoma is listed lower on this page.

When tornadoes strike, proper shelter can make the difference between life and death. Because of this, many organizations make it their goal to protect those who find themselves in the path of severe weather. FEMA offers an abundance of information for those interested in constructing safe rooms for individuals, families, or communities.

Oklahoma Counties

1. Cimarron

2. Texas

3. Beaver

4. Harper

5. Ellis

6. Woodward

7. Roger Mills

8. Dewey

9. Custer

10. Beckham

11. Washita

12. Harmon

13. Greer

14. Jackson

15. Kiowa

16. Tillman

17. Cotton

18. Comanche

19. Jefferson

20. Stephens

21. Graddy

22. Caddo

23. Canadian

24. Blaine

25. Kingfisher

26. Major

27. Woods

28. Alfalfa

29. Grant

30. Garfield

31. Kay

32. Noble

33. Logan

34. Payne

35. Lincoln

36. Oklahoma

37. Cleveland

38. Pottawatomie

39. McClain

40. Garvin

41. Carter

42. Love

43. Marshall

44. Johnston

45. Murray

46. Pontotoc

47. Coal

48. Hughes

49. Seminole

50. Okfuskee

51. Creek

52. Pawnee

53. Osage

54. Washington

55. Nowata

56. Rogers

57. Tulsa

58. Wagoner

59. Muskogee

60. Okmulgee

61. McIntosh

62. Pittsburg

63. Atoka

64. Bryan

65. Choctaw

66. McCurtain

67. Pushmataha

68. LeFlore

69. Latimer

70. Haskell

71. Sequoyah

72. Adair

73. Cherokee

74. Mayes

75. Delaware

76. Craig

77. Ottawa

78. Chautauqua, KS

79. Montgomery, KS

80. Labette, KS

81. Cherokee, KS

82. Brenton, AR

83. Washington, AR

84. Crawford, AR

85. Sebastian, AR