“The idea of going somewhere else to seek shelter does not work out,” Fullingim said. “The national trend is shelter in place and provide your own safety plans.”
The city will keep its shelters open through this spring season so no one travels to a shelter only to find it closed, but this likely will be the last season Norman has designated public storm shelters.
“There would have to be a good effort made to make sure people know,” Fullingim said on closing Norman’s four shelters. “I do believe we would have to have an aggressive public education campaign.”
Firefighters will install smoke detectors and will include severe weather preparedness as part of that boots-on-the-ground public education campaign.
Fullingim said firefighters will visit all of Norman’s mobile home parks March 9. The fire department also will work with multi-family homes on tornado safety.
“We contact every apartment complex and do fire inspections, as it is,” Fullingim said. “We could have a meeting for the tenants to give them ideas and help them with their plans. We have a large volunteer group that is interested in helping.”
Fullingim also said tornado sirens are designed to warn people who are outside to seek shelter. Many people inside homes may not hear the sirens.
People in homes should listen to a NOAA weather radio, watch local television broadcasts and keep 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.”