Emergency managers advise "shelter-in-place" during torndado warning

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- In the event of a tornado warning Oklahoma emergency management officials advise the public to think twice about heading to a community shelter.

If you hear sirens -- warning you of severe weather -- emergency managers advise you to take "shelter-in-place". Take cover in your home, or a nearby building.

"Get inside a lower part of your home, an interior room and take cover there. No windows, no doors or the fewest as possible," Dalton said.

Bryan County Emergency Management Director James Dalton says if you hear sirens it is probably too late to seek a public safe room.

"We've kind of discouraged going to public shelters because what we've found is happening is a lot of time people wait too long and they get caught out in their car on the way to the shelter, then they are in more peril there than if they were in their own house," Dalton said.

"If the wind is blowing real hard. If it's lightening you're better off staying where you're at rather than seek shelter somewhere else," Scalf said.

Calera's Emergency manager Joel Scalf says if you do have enough time to take cover in a shelter do not hesitate, leave your pets at home and have a survival kit in hand.

"You need to have some money with you. You need to have some good shoes. No flip flops," Scalf said.

Emergency Managers say you need to have a plan now. Do not wait until a storm hits to find a safe haven.

"We really encourage that you look in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors if they have shelter or whatever, and try to find that place ahead of time," Dalton said.

"We tend to take too many things for granted especially weather. It is so unpredictable. You cannot predict what it's going to do so you have to be prepared at all times," Scalf said.

For help making the best plan for you and your family call your local emergency management office.

Oklahoma:

To contact the emergency manager in your city or county visit the link below.

http://www.ok.gov/OEM/documents/012011localem.pdf

Texas:

Grayson County 903-813-4217
Fannin County 903-640-8484
Cooke County 940-668-5400


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