Emergency management talks mobile home tornado safety

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

ARDMORE, OK - Sharla Gastineau says she's weathered storms in a mobile home before.

"Got in a bath tub, and like I said, held on," said Gastineau.

If a severe storm or tornado strikes Ardmore this weekend, she plans to stay in the park's storm shelter. But she said it's not a simple solution.

"You've got people that call their family, relatives friends and have them come here too so it does make it hard for the people who do actually live here to get down in the storm cellar," Gastineau said.

So how should mobile home residents stay safe in severe weather?
Carter County Emergency Management director Paul Tucker has some advice.

"In mobile homes, definitely you want to find somewhere else to take shelter and planning ahead of time to know where you're going to take that shelter is very important," Tucker said.

Tucker said if a storm cellar or basement aren't readily available, find a sturdy structure and get in the innermost room away from windows. And it's better to seek shelter and not need it than to wait too long to run for cover.

"We highly recommend that if a tornado warning is issued for your area, shelter immediately," said Tucker. "Don't try to outrun the storm, don't try to seek shelter elsewhere. By that time it's probably too late for you to get anywhere."

He said the same advice goes for folks in permanent structures. And if you happen to be out on the roads and see a tornado and can't get into a sturdy building, lie in a ditch with your head covered as a last resort.

Gastineau said if severe weather hits she'll be ready but knows safety isn't guaranteed.

"In all actuality pretty much you just got to hunker down and pray I guess," she said.


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