When tornadoes hit, rescue crews seek those in need, but if contact can't be made with victims, crews turn to a critical resource storm shelter registrations.
With storm season fast approaching the City of Shawnee and nearly every city and county in the state is encouraging citizens to register storm shelters in part for lessons learned nearly 10 months ago.
Just about every Oklahoma remembers where they were and what they felt at the end of last May. While most grieved, others asked themselves ‘What if?'
"I'll invest the money it takes to keep my family safe," said Shawnee resident, Jack Kizzia.
What if that fury had shifted just three miles and hit Kizzia's home?
"We were cautious without having it," said Kizzia.
So four months ago Kizzia answered his own question.
"I felt [in order] to take care of my family I needed a place underground."
But like Oklahoma weather, peace can only last so long. Kizzia took safety one step further. He registered his new addition with his county's emergency manager, Don Lynch, who before May only saw about 3-5 registrations per week. Now, he's seeing 15-25.
"At least they can come here and know there is a garage shelter here," said Kizzia.
"We just want to be able to send people out to check on them and make sure they are ok," said Lynch.
And that is something Kizzia can finally respond to with confidence.
"It's just peace of mind to have a device like this to protect your family that's what it's all about," said Kizzia.
You can register your shelter at any time and you can do so by visiting your local city hall, by phone, or online.
To register your shelter:
Oklahoma City: http://www.okc.gov/action/StormShelter/Welcome.aspx
Midwest City: www.midwestcityok.org or call Kathy Spivey at (405) 739-1210
Shawnee: Call (405) 878-1650