The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 25, 2013

Tornado safety event Thursday at NWOSU

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Psychology Club at Northwestern Oklahoma State University will present a tornado awareness and safety event at 2 p.m. Thursday.

“As we all know, Oklahoma has had its share of tragedy this week, not only in Moore, but many other small towns across central Oklahoma,” said Jessica Blanchard, president of the NWOSU Psychology Club. “By now, everyone has seen the news coverage interviewing the children that were in the school that was demolished by the tornado on Monday night. It was very moving, and very sad. But the fear does not stop once the tornado has.”

Stress affects more than tornado victims.

“Children in our local community have also seen this footage and are going to be very scared next time they hear thunder or even the test sirens,” Blanchard said.

Thursday’s tornado awareness presentation is intended for both children and adults. Its purpose is to teach local residents about tornado preparedness, safety, procedures and identification, Blanchard said. Speakers also will answer questions from members of the community.

Presenters will include Master Sgt. Gary Rann, weather station supervisor for Vance Air Force Base, who will talk about how tornados form, what watches and warnings mean, and how to identify when severe weather is coming.

Mike Honigsberg, certified director of Enid/ Garfield County Emergency Management, will talk about disaster preparedness, storm spotting and shelters.

Becky Kroeker, ATS counseling agency, will speak about emotional issues that can arise after such tragic events, and provide information on agencies and groups that offer mental health services.

Robin Pokorny and Jay Sharp, Red Cross Cimarron Valley Chapter, will talk about the aftermath of disasters and exactly what Red Cross does.

Sherril Stone, NWOSU psychology professor, will talk about the importance of a pet evacuation plan.

Children attending the conference will make cards for the victims of the tornadoes and practice safety procedures with the assistance of Leigh Kirby, NWOSU psychology professor, and Blanchard. While the children are working on that project, adults will have the opportunity to ask the speakers questions.

The event will be held at the commons area of NWOSU Enid Campus, 2929 E. Randolph. There is no charge. For more information, contact Blanchard at (580) 395-0725.