We continually strive to raise public awareness on severe weather safety and emergency preparedness. Thank you for being proactive and taking the initiative to determine a plan.
Over the past several years, the majority of fatalities suffered during severe and/or tornadic storms have been due to people leaving their homes to seek shelter elsewhere. We encourage the public to “shelter in place” during severe weather. When people try to leave their current location to seek shelter at another place it causes several concerns:
- Additional traffic congestion with an increased chance of accidents and/or people being caught in their vehicle(s) when the storm and/or tornado hits.
- Citizens arriving at a “designated” storm shelter location which MAY not be open/unlocked. Most designated storm shelters are schools or places of business, both of which are NOT open 24/7. This could leave many people waiting outside or in their vehicles when the storm and/or tornado hits that area.
With that being said, when citizens live in a mobile/manufactured home, or RV, they MUST seek shelter elsewhere. The LEAST safe locations during severe weather are mobile homes, RVs and vehicles. Contact the manager of your apartment complex, mobile home, or RV park and ask where the designated storm shelter on-site is located. If there is none, talk to friends/family who live close by to see if they have a shelter. Even if they don’t have a shelter and live in a home, this would be a better option than a mobile/manufactured home, or RV.
Remember the “DUCK” Rule;
– (D)ownstairs in the middle of the structure
– (U)nderneath something
– (C)over yourself
– (K)eep away from windows
If these options are not available, try to find a larger, sturdy building very close to your location that would be a good place to seek shelter. Find out what hours they are open and locate multiple sites to ensure you are covered for all days and times.
For those living small communities, we recommend contacting your community officials and asking if they have a designated shelter location.
Also, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for Comanche County’s emergency notification system, Nixle. We utilize this system to alert our citizens during emergencies and when severe weather is imminent.
Registering Storm Shelters
You can register your Storm Shelter with Comanche County Emergency Management. In the event of a disaster, they will provide the information to the Incident Commander to aid in search and rescue efforts. How those efforts are conducted will be up to the Incident Commander, but providing information about your shelter will make it easier to organize search and rescue. After a disaster, if you can safely exit your shelter, do so. Once you are clear of the shelter, call your “Out of State Contact” and let them know you are safe. If conditions make it impossible or dangerous to exit your shelter, standby and try calling your “Out of State Contact” alerting them of your situation. You can register your shelter by calling the Emergency Management office.
Storm Shelter Installation Reimbursements
Periodically, Comanche County becomes eligible to apply for a grant whereby residents can apply to get 75% of the cost to install a safe room/storm shelter reimbursed. Unfortunately, the County is not eligible at this time, but may be in the future.
However, the State of Oklahoma Emergency Management has an ongoing program called “Sooner Safe” whereby residents can apply to be randomly selected to be reimbursed 75% of the cost to install a safe room/storm shelter reimbursed (with a maximum reimbursement of $2,000). There are a number of rules and regulations, so please visit there webpage HERE for more information and to register.
Emergency Management Office: 580-355-0535