The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

May 23, 2013

Families should develop plan, communicate during severe weather situations

ENID, Okla. — If we needed a wake-up call, Mother Nature sure provided one Monday with the devastating tornado that ripped through Moore.

You can never let your guard down during spring in Oklahoma.

Severe weather can develop quickly, and we’ve all got to be ready when it does.

No one can wait until severe weather hits to figure out what to do.

You’ve got to have your emergency plan in place and understood long before then.

The most important thing families can do is talk to each other. Develop a plan and practice what you will do in the event of a tornado.

Make sure everyone in the family knows where to go and how to best protect themselves.

The best place to go is an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If none of those are available, then the best place is a small, windowless interior room or hallway.

Experts advise wearing a helmet to protect your head from flying debris.

And, as we’ve all heard for years, if you live in a mobile home, get out and get to shelter elsewhere before a tornado warning is issued.

The Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management website (www.gcem.org) and the American Red Cross website (www.red cross.org) have plenty of information that can help you figure out a plan.

The key is preparation. You can’t start figuring out your emergency plan when a tornado is bearing down on you.

Knowing what to do ahead of time can be the difference between life and death.

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