Autumn in Oklahoma may bring to mind blue skies, comfortable afternoons and crisp nights, but many areas of Oklahoma will experience severe weather and tornados during this time. In fact, October is the busiest month for tornados in Oklahoma outside of high storm season (March – June).
We recently wrote about Oklahoma tornado averages by month, and it is clear that activity peaks in the spring and increases slightly again in the autumn. This secondary peak happens when the jet stream shifts farther south after retreating northward during the summer months. An active jet stream pattern provides the deep wind necessary for supercells and large outbreaks of severe storms.
There have been 129 tornados reported in Oklahoma in the month of October since 1950. Also, 1998 was the most active October with 27 tornados reported statewide!
Autumn tornados are slightly less likely to be strong or violent than their spring counterparts. About 20% of autumn tornados are rated F2 or stronger compared to 28% in the spring. Catastrophic F4 or F5 tornados are rare outside of the spring season. That being said, damaging and deadly tornados can happen at any time of the year.
The strongest tornado that took place in the fall happened on October 5, 1970. An F4 tornado struck Shawnee and Prague then dissipated in Okfuskee County. That particular storm killed four people and injured 84.
An unusually wide F2 tornado injured four people in Haydenville on October 4th, 1998. That system spawned six other tornados in northeast Oklahoma and a hailstorm that damaged hundreds of roofs and windows in Okmulgee.
Tulsa County in particular has experienced three weak tornados in the month of October (1983, 1991 & 1998). The 1983 tornado occurred on the flank of a microburst that damaged South Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow.
So far, 2015 has seen above average tornado outbreaks during high storm season. We will soon find out if this trend continues as we move into October.
Does your heart start pounding at the thought of a tornado? We can’t blame you! These bad boys of nature are fast, heartless, and devastating. How do you stand up to one of nature’s most destructive forces? By building a storm shelter of course! If you are thinking of getting a tornado shelter installed, or already have one, storage is a very important part of your shelter.
We recently wrote about what to keep in your storm shelter. Now, we will give you some tips for storm shelter storage ideas. Check them out below:
We hope this helps! If you have any storm shelter storage examples of your own, send them to us and we might feature your pictures on our website or Facebook!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – tornados can happen at any time and at any place! The keys to survival are preparedness and action. If you are prepped ahead of time, the odds of surviving a tornado as well as the aftermath goes up tremendously.
When it comes to taking a direct hit, surviving is simply a numbers game. You want to put the odds in your favor by doing what you can to maximize your chances of survival. We have compiled a list of five things you should NOT do when a tornado hits in order to increase your odds for survival. Happy reading!
Sometimes in emergency situations, people do not think how they normally would. We never know how we are going to react in an emergency until it actually happens. In order to prepare for any situation, preparing a grab-and-go binder should be an important part of your family emergency plan. This binder should contain your family’s most important information and documents.
With that being said, it’s time to get organized! We suggest adding the following to your grab-and-go binder:
Once your grab-and-go binder is finished, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you and your family can concentrate on a speedy evacuation without trying to retrieve important documents. Remember that being prepared is your best chance for a quicker recovery in any disaster situation!
What do you think of when tornados come to mind? Images of massive funnel clouds tearing over the Great Plains and destroying small towns and mobile homes? Well, the news is tornados vary greatly in size and strength and can happen anywhere, at any time of the year!
Although freak accidents do happen ― and the most violent tornados can level a house ― most tornados are much weaker than the giant EF5s that most people imagine. There are tons of tornado myths out there, so it can be hard to know what advice to follow. Below we are debunking seven of the most common tornado myths out there.
Storm shelters are a must when you live in tornado alley, especially when faced with the reality of severe storms that frequently hit this area. Confused on which kind of storm shelter is best for your family? Ground Zero Shelters is here to help! We break down all of the facts right here!
Which storm shelter offers more protection? Most people think that underground shelters are safer than above ground shelters. But the truth is, both options have proven to be a solid choice.
Larry Tanner, from the Texas Tech University Wind Science & Engineering Research Center, said “In my 15 years of doing storm damage research and storm shelter research, we have never documented any deaths or injuries in above ground tested safe-rooms or failures of tested safe-rooms. This includes the storms of Joplin 2011 and Moore 2013”.
There was rumor that you could only survive these tornados if you were underground, but put to the test, the above ground safe rooms did their job and saved lives! The bottom line is no one has ever been killed in an approved safe room whether above or below ground.
One of the main concerns people have is where they should put their safe room. The good news is that above ground storm shelters can go almost anywhere in your home including the closet, pantry or your garage. Even though safe rooms can be installed just about anywhere, one negative would be that it will take up valuable square footage.
Underground storm shelters can go in outside in the yard, or in your garage. Even though the actual storm protection is the same, it would be more beneficial if your shelter is inside the home (i.e. garage). This is because having your shelter outside can expose you to lightning, hail, extreme winds and dangerous debris which may prohibit you from quickly getting you and your family to safety.
If you put an underground shelter inside your garage, it will be installed flush with the ground, allowing any vehicle to park over it. This is nice because this option does not take up any extra square footage.
Another benefit of the safe room is that they are handicap accessible. You do not have to step down into the shelter, you can just wheel right in!
When planning ahead for your family’s safety, it’s always good to do your homework. The truth is, you can’t choose wrong when deciding between an above ground or below ground storm shelter. It really just comes down to a personal choice. And that choice that will give you the peace of mind that you and your family will be safe from tornados!
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