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TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips
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TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips

TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips
Photo Credit: Courtesy NWS

TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips

NEWS102.3 KRMG is Tulsa's 24-Hour severe weather station and we know that any time of the year weather can be dangerous, and even deadly. That's why we've compiled this list of what we think are some great tips on how to keep you and your family safe when the skies turn gray.

In Oklahoma, it’s not a matter of if we will have severe weather; it’s a matter of when

We can't escape the weather, but we can prepare for it if we know what is coming.

Each day in the United States over 210 million weather observations are processed and used to create weather forecasts.

Meteorologists in the 126 National Weather Service local offices combine these large scale forecasts with local observations and their knowledge of local weather patterns to make a forecast for their specific region.

Always keep a battery powered radio in your emergency kit so you can stay up to date with the latest hazard, watches and warnings by tuning in to FM 102.3 and AM 740 KRMG

Know the terms:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. 

  • The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States, about 10 percent are classified as severe.  

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives! Visit this page for answers to frequently asked questions about tornadoes.

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom). 

  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year. 

  • The strongest tornadoes have rotating winds of more than 250 mph. 
  • Tornadoes can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles. 
  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • Many people mistakenly think that a highway overpass provides safety from a tornado. In reality, an overpass may be one of the worst places to seek shelter from a tornado. Seeking shelter under an overpass puts you at greater risk of being killed or seriously injured by flying debris from the powerful tornadic winds. Visit this page for more information.

Flash Flood Watch - A Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible in or near the watch area.

Flash Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring in the area or will be very soon. 

  • Flash Flooding is the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms...more than 140 fatalities each year.
  • Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and most victims are people who become trapped in automobiles.
  • Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.   
  • Find more information about the types of severe weather - including the dangers of straight line winds and hail - here

Lightning Safety Rules: 

In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which are responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard. Many of these tragedies can be avoided. All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes combined

  • Lightning can strike more than 10 miles away from any rainfall. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of the storm because people wait until the last minute before seeking shelter.
  • Lightning can strike well beyond the audible range of thunder. If you hear thunder, the thunderstorm is close enough that lightning could strike your location at any moment.
  • Lightning injuries can lead to permanent disabilities or death. On average, 20% of strike victims die; 70% of survivors suffer serious long term effects.
  • Look for dark cloud bases and increasing wind. Every flash of lightning is dangerous, even the first. Head to safety before that first flash. If you hear thunder, head to safety!
  • NO PLACE outdoors is safe during a lightning storm. If lightning is seen or thunder is heard, or if dark clouds are gathering overhead, quickly move indoors or into a hard-topped vehicle and remain there until 30 minutes after the final clap of thunder.  

Info compiled from cdc.gov, noaa.gov, redcross.org, reddirtready.com

Read More
  • A bill that would require insurance carriers to consider the use of FORTIFIED construction techniques when determining premiums is moving forward in the Oklahoma legislature. The standards are set by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. House Bill 1720 does not mandate lower premiums - but Insurance Commissioner John Doak is confident the increased use of the stronger building techniques will drive down the cost of insurance for homeowners. Basically, FORTIFIED construction involves strongly connecting the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation, greatly increasing the structure’s resistance to high winds. The bottom line, proponents say, is that Oklahomans will suffer storm damage every year, no matter what. But, “there’s going to be less damage for those consumers that embrace this program,” Doak told KRMG Tuesday. He hopes someday to possibly mandate lower premiums, but starting with a voluntary program is the best way to encourage wider use of FORTIFIED construction, he said. It’s not only for new homes, he added. “You can retrofit an older home,” Doak said, and the process doesn’t take very long. Habitat for Humanity has committed to building dozens of homes in Oklahoma using the new techniques. While such a home won’t withstand an EF-5 tornado, the great majority of damage in Oklahoma comes from straight-line winds and smaller tornadoes in the EF-1 to EF-2 range. HB 1720 passed unanimously in the Oklahoma House, by a vote of 93-0, and now goes to the Senate. Here is a video demonstrating the advantages of FORTIFIED construction:
  • At the request of four Democrats in the Congress, the Government Accountability Office has agreed to formally review how much money the feds spend, and what security precautions are taken, when President Donald Trump takes a weekend away at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. The request for a GAO review came from three Democratic Senators and one House member – the GAO says it will “review security and site-related travel expenses related to the President’s stays outside the White House at Mar-a-Lago. The lawmakers who made the request were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). On 2/16, @RepCummings @SenWarren @SenWhitehouse & I wrote @USGAO & asked they review Mar-a-Lago security procedures & taxpayer funded travel — Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) March 28, 2017 This is not new territory for the GAO, which from time to time is asked by one party or the other to review the costs of travel. When the White House was under the control of Democrats, Republicans a few years ago were the ones asking about costs – as they had the GAO look at a February 15-18, 2013 trip made by President Barack Obama. In that review, the GAO estimated that an official speech in Illinois, followed by a golf weekend in Florida, cost about $3.6 million. This GAO report will look at more than just the cost of the weekend trips to Trump’s resort in Mar-a-Lago, as it will also review security matters there. (CBSMiami/AP) — A government watchdog will investigate the taxpayer-funded travel costs of President Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-a-lago. — Liz Quirantes (@lizquirantes) March 28, 2017 Democrats raised those concerns during a trip that Mr. Trump took with the Japanese Prime Minister, when the two men were seen with aides in a public dining area, speaking about a developing national security issue with regards to North Korea. One question from the four Democrats centers on whether those who are at the Trump club have gone through normal security and clearance procedures, including any foreign nationals who might be there. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has downplayed the costs of the Mar-a-Lago visits, saying that’s ‘part of being President.’ “That is a vast reach,” Spicer told one reporter, who cast the question of the cost of the Mar-a-Lago visits, versus proposed cuts in the federal budget. Before he became President, Mr. Trump often criticized his predecessor for taking weekend golf trips to Florida and other parts of the country. While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2016 The GAO will now be in charge of determining how much Mr. Trump’s own weekend getaways are costing taxpayers.
  • J is not OK, as a name according to a Swiss court. The Zurich administrative court said in a ruling released Tuesday it had upheld a local registry's office decision to reject the letter as a given name in the best interests of the child, Switzerland's 20 Minuten news website reported. The court rejected the parents' argument they wanted to honor their daughter's great-grandparents Johanna and Josef with the initial as one of her middle names, saying they could have chosen the already-accepted Jo instead.  Though the parents wanted to pronounce the name 'Jay,' the court noted the letter is pronounced 'Yott' in German, creating confusion. The court also said people would be inclined to put a period after the J, though it wasn't an abbreviation.
  • A new study by the Mayo Clinic found that certain workouts can reverse the aging process. The study found that a high-intensity interval training workout, combined with resistance training, can turn back time. >> Read more trending news 'You're essentially slowing down that aging process, (which) I think is amazing, because we didn't have those things before,' said Dr. Vandana Bhide, of the Mayo Clinic. The study was conducted by researchers in Rochester, Minnesota, and targeted two age groups -- 18 to 30-year-olds and 65 to 85-year-olds. As we age, we lose muscle mass. Researchers found that a combined workout increases muscle mass, and on the cellular level, reverses some of the adverse effects of aging. 'For older people, it allows them to be more functional, to be able to do as much as they can at whatever age,” Bhide said. Researchers tracked data over 12 weeks. 'It's not overnight, but we think of it taking years,' Bhide said. Florida-based fitness franchise Orange Theory Fitness focuses on these types of workouts. 'It kind of just reaffirms what we already believe here,' head coach Justin Hoffman said. 'We've seen tremendous strength gain, even (at) 70 years plus, with just 3 to 4 days of interval training.” Bhide said older people who are interested in these workouts should check with their doctor before starting. And as with any exercise program, everybody is different and may not get the same results.
  • The American Geosciences Institute will host a free webinar, “State Responses to Induced Earthquakes,” on Friday 14 April at 1:00 PM CT. The surge in recent years of earthquakes associated with some oil and gas operations, especially the deep underground injection of wastewater, has spurred a range of actions and responses from geoscientists, regulators, and operators. This webinar will explore state-level activities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio to monitor and reduce induced earthquakes. SEG is a co-sponsor of the webinar. The webinar will feature Jeremy Boak (Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey), Michael Young (Associate Director for Environment at the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology), and Steven Dade (Geologist 2 at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources), focusing on several key topics: Improved monitoring networks for detecting small earthquakes Regulations and their effects Collaborations between government, industry, and other groups to reduce induced earthquakes Outreach and education to improve public awareness Attendees will have the chance to ask questions of the speakers in a live question and answer session during the webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/induced-eq-webinar. This webinar is co-sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Energy Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists, the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the U.S. Geological Survey.