When storms rolled through the south side of the Oklahoma City metro on May 31, OCCC was in the direct path of the storm. With television meteoroligists predicting damaging winds, hail, flooding rain and an impending tornadoes, the weather was nothing to play around with, and OCCC officials promptly sprang into action.
Classes and activities for the evening were canceled, but that didn’t mean the campus closed its doors to students or the public. Instead, OCCC sheltered numerous individuals from the storm.
Numerous individuals came to the Pioneer with their stories.
Javier Palacios, an Oklahoma City resident, said, “I would love to thank OCCC for all the great things they did for us.
“They provided us with shelter, food, drinks, and gave us protection. My family and I feel very thankful for all the things this school did.”
It isn’t often that college campuses are threatened by the kind of storm that moved through the area that evening. The circumstances were unusual and, as anyone in Oklahoma knows, come severe weather season there’s only so much you can do to prepare for what the weather may bring. Thankfully, OCCC officials were prepared and ready.
The school’s first success was the efficiency and availability of updates from the Campus Alert Notification System (CANS).
Updates about the status of classes and the campus were delivered to students promptly through email and text messages, keeping students informed as to what plans they needed to make to ensure they would be safe during the storm, wherever they happened to be at the time it hit.
Students and student employees, myself included, were anxious to hear about the extent of the damage done to the school. With power out and heavy rains leaving roads all across the metro flooded out, it was impossible and unsafe for us to venture to OCCC to see for ourselves.
Updates about the campus were promptly sent out using CANS, assuaging some of the concern many students felt.
The officials and police officers who were in the building at the time of the tornado also went above and beyond to ensure that those being sheltered at OCCC were not only safe, but comfortable as well.
It’s never easy to get ready for a storm of the magnitude that hit the south side on May 31 but OCCC officials were well aware of the impending tornado and acted swiftly, making some good calls as they went.
The decision to shelter students and residents of the south metro was a wise decision, and OCCC’s tornado procedures kept a good many people safe on the evening of the storm.
The goals of an institution like OCCC are largely centered around academia and learning but OCCC also has strong ties to the community around the school.
OCCC has become more than just a college. With the inclusion of the FACE center, which provides adult education courses and classes for the community, the swimming pool that is open to the public, a daycare center and other resources for the city, OCCC has become a beacon for the betterment of a community.
On the evening of May 31, OCCC employees and administrators were faced with some extraordinary circumstances and in light of that, they performed in a way that was exemplary.