The Norman Transcript


January 16, 2013

Public shelters in city could soon be thing of the past



“This is an outdoor warning system,” Fullingim said. “It is intended to warn people who are outside to take shelter.”

People in homes should listen to a NOAA weather radio and/or watch local television broadcasts as well as keeping an eye on the sky.

“The tornado that happened last spring developed in McClain County,” Fullingim said. “I recommend you add McClain County and Cleveland County both to your radio.”

He said it is important that people develop personal plans for action in case of a tornado.

While the city has public shelters at public schools with recreational centers — Whittier, Cleveland, Irving and Little Axe — those buildings may not be safer than most homes.

Furthermore, the fire department must open those shelters during the hours that school is not in operation. The fire department needs an hour to an hour- and-a-half lead time to open a shelter, and often that time is not available before a tornado hits.

“If we are going to provide these shelters, we need to be certain they are open,” Fullingim said.

Other problems are associated with having public storm shelters.

“The last place you want to be in during a tornado is a car,” Fullingim said.

While mobile homes are not safe either, often people will pass other buildings while trying to get to a public shelter. The tornado may arrive before they are in the shelter.

Additionally, there is confusion about which schools are shelters.

“People get the impression all schools are storm shelters,” he said.

People arrive at a school and the doors are locked.

“We’ve had that situation more than once,” Fullingim said.

Social media has contributed to the problem because of public reports. A janitor may let someone into a building and then they put the message out. Suddenly, a school that is not staffed to be a storm shelter is mobbed with people.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014