Okies underestimate tornadoes

May 3, 2013 Editorials Print Print

It’s a common joke in Oklahoma: “What do Oklahomans do when they hear tornado sirens? They run outside to look at the storm.”

As a person who has lived in Oklahoma my entire life, I can say I know many people who do this. These people need a serious reality check.

With severe weather season quickly approaching, it is important people take necessary precautions if and when severe weather does hit.

Many people die in storms each year simply because they do not take shelter. While no shelter is 100 percent safe, anything is better than your front porch.

Meteorologist Damon Lane, who recently gave a presentation at OCCC, said the most common reasons people die in storms is they wait too long to take shelter or they simply choose to ignore the warnings.

It is not hard to turn on your television and check the weather when you know things will possibly get bad. No one should die in a tornado.

If more people would pay attention, we could prevent most — if not all — storm-related deaths.

Another reason people take storms lightly is they do not think it will ever hit them. That’s only something you see happen to people on television, right? I will be the first person to tell you it can happen to you.

As a person who has lost my house in a tornado, I know what it is like to lose everything unexpectedly.

While you may not always be given a heads up, if you do know severe weather is approaching, 10 minutes of preparing could save you a lot of hassle.

Put an extra change of clothes, some snacks, a flashlight, radio, and anything else you might want to keep safe in a bag and be ready to head down into your safe place when the sirens go off.

If you have to stay in your house, make sure to cover yourself with blankets, pillows, or a mattress if possible.

If in fact a storm never hits, at least you only wasted a few minutes of your time.

The way I see it, better safe than sorry.

Some people think simply because they have lived here for so long, they know everything about severe weather and can get around it.

I believe it is something that is often taken lightly and we need that to change.

Weather can change in a second and it can change your life with it. If you choose to live in Oklahoma, do yourself a favor and be smart about the decisions you make when the weather gets bad.

If you aren’t, it could be your life at stake.

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