Stay safe during severe weather

  • Published
  • By Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Lightning, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and damaging winds are weather conditions to look out for in Oklahoma. The base emergency management flight shares information and tips about severe weather safety.

"We are in the middle of tornado alley," said Staff Sgt. Kelly Deppen, 97th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness and emergency management training NCO in charge.

It is important to know where to go in case of an emergency.

"If you are at work and a tornado warning is placed, you would go to your building's designated shelter in place," said Senior Airman John Holley, 97th CES readiness and emergency management training airman in charge.

"If you are at home, get to the innermost room on the lowest level possible," Deppen said.

If these locations are not accessible, stay away from rooms with many windows, advises Deppen.

"As a dorm resident, you must go to the first floor," Deppen said. "Those who already live on the first floor are told to open their doors to residents who live in the higher levels of the building."

Some people may find themselves driving outside during a tornado warning.

"Do not stay in your car," Deppen said. "Leave your vehicle and go to a low-lying ditch or ravine area."

It is vital to be prepared for emergencies.

"Since tornado season in this area could be all year round, it is important to always have an evacuation kit prepared," Deppen said. "These evacuation kits should include common things like a radio, batteries, medication that is not expired, water, blankets, candles, flashlights, and non-perishable foods."

Keep this kit in an accessible area.

"A lot of people like to keep all the contents of their evacuation kit in a carry-on suitcase," Deppen said. "So if they needed to evacuate they could just grab it and go."

The type of weather in the Altus area is very extreme, so the emergency management flight holds two severe weather briefings a year, which are open to all base personnel and their families.

"One of the briefings is focused on tornado weather, and the other on winter weather," Deppen said.

For more information, contact the Readiness and Emergency Management Flight at 481-6136.