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March 10, 2014

Tornado season is around the corner

NORMAN — With warmer weather on the horizon, now is a great time to get prepared for turbulent spring weather.

Whether you have lived in Oklahoma your entire life or are new to the area, one thing is for certain — storm season must be taken seriously. We all saw the devastation of the tornado outbreak Oklahoma experienced last May. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared ahead of time.

The weather in our state can change quickly, so start thinking now about what you need to do to be safe.

If you have a storm shelter at your home, make sure it is cleaned out and ready to go before storm season. When the sirens are blaring is not the time to discover standing water, hordes of insects or that the space has been used for storage and there is no room for people.

If you discover water in your shelter, inspect it and determine how the water is getting in. Repair any cracks to help keep out moisture. If water is coming through the door, homeowners will need to divert rainwater away from the entrance. Spiders and other creepy crawlies also get in through small cracks. Sealing those will help eliminate these insects.

Once the shelter is cleaned up and ready to be inhabited, prepare an emergency kit of essentials in the event you have to shelter in place for a while or if your home is significantly damaged and no longer inhabitable, requiring you to live elsewhere for some time.

Include things such as nonperishable foods, can opener, flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. Bottled water is essential, also. A good rule of thumb is about one gallon of water per person, per day. Also, make sure everyone is wearing shoes when you take cover in the shelter. Your feet will need to be protected in the event of storm damage when you emerge from the shelter.

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