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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

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 man is dead following an auto-pedestrian collision Friday night in Tulsa. Officers at the scene tell us the crash happened around 10 p.m. near 21st and Memorial. “The pedestrian was crossing the street from the north to the south and was struck by a vehicle,” police said.  “The vehicle was heading eastbound.” The driver did stay at the scene. Investigators don't believe the driver was at fault for the collision.   Investigators reports the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the hospital.  As of early Saturday morning, his name hasn’t been released.  
  • When you look outside this morning, expect to see soggy conditions. However, National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Hodges says the Tulsa area won't remain wet all day. “We’ll probably get some filtered sunshine later in the day,” Hodges said.  “Temperatures should be topping out pretty close to 60.” The low Saturday night will be around 34 degrees. Sunday is probably the better bet for outdoor activities.  NWS is reporting cloudy skies and the high will be close to 67 degrees.   The Tulsa area could reach 72 degrees by Monday.  
  • At least 17 people were killed in a high school shooting Wednesday afternoon in Parkland, Florida and more than a dozen others were injured, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The lone gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was taken into custody without incident after the attack, Israel said. READ MORE: Who is Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack? | What to do if you are in an 'active shooter' situation | What is a mass shooting? Definitions can vary | MORE
  • A Rogers County man was arrested for allegedly giving his 12-year-old son advice on how to kill himself. Sheriff's Maj. Coy Jenkins, with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that the boy suffered minor burns after following his father's suggestion that he light himself on fire. Michael Joseph Jensen was arrested Wednesday on a child neglect warrant.  The boy's grandparents were able to put out the fire. Jenkins said the son had previously attempted suicide and was living with his grandparents when Jensen visited.  Authorities don't believe that Jensen was serious when he told his son to set himself on fire and shoot himself in the head. 
  • Another massacre at an American school means another round of finger-pointing, cries for reform, and searching for answers. In Tulsa, as in cities across the country, people talk about their fears and their opinions on what needs to be done. Diners at Tally’s Good Food Café (11th and Yale in Tulsa) had a wide range of opinions. One man said teachers should have guns; just feet away, a woman said there’s no excuse for anyone to have military-style weapons unless they’re in the military. Rick Chandler and his wife were about to order their breakfast when KRMG asked them for their thoughts. And he had a lot to say, because it turns out he carries a firearm with him at all times, but also teaches martial arts and counsels parents and teachers who have had problems with bullying. “I’ve got six black belts in different styles, and I tell every one of my students ‘if there’s a door, get out,’” Chandler said. The best bet is to avoid the situation entirely, by being aware of your surroundings at all time, he added. And if avoidance or escape are no longer options, one is well-served by having at least some training in self-defense. A couple miles away, owner David Stone at Dong’s Guns, Ammo and Reloading near Admiral and Yale told KRMG guns aren’t the problem - and gun control’s not the solution. Unlike when Barack Obama was president, however, he didn’t see a spike in sales after the latest mass shooting. “It’s because President Trump has made it very clear he’s not about to take away gun rights,” Stone told KRMG. And after a few political leaders laid some of the blame for school shootings on violent video games, KRMG visited Ivan Juarez, owner of Delta Games in Tulsa, near 21st and Memorial. Juarez told KRMG he’s heard it all before. “Every time something violent with teenagers, or a teenager does something violent, they also mention video games - because that’s what teenagers do,” he told KRMG. Research on the possible correlation between violent games and actual violence is all over the map. Perhaps the most telling statistic is the large drop in the national homicide rate in recent years - years in which video games were invented, and have become vastly more complex and realistic. Many researchers point out that the statistical sample of people who commit mass killings is so small, it’s impossible to establish a credible causal link. And, clearly, millions of people play the same games, without acting out with actual violence. Back at Tally’s, a man who began the conversation by saying it’s time to arm the teachers didn’t take long to admit perhaps that’s not a solution. In fact, he said, “from what happened yesterday (Wednesday) and what I understand, I don’t think you could stop it. When they get in their mind they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it.”