The City Sentinel

Storm tips from the Oklahoma City government

Staff Report Story by on May 24, 2011 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

For the latest information from the Oklahoma City government concerning today’s storms, follow www.okc.gov or Twitter at @cityofokc or www.facebook.com/cityofokc.

Sheltering

The City of Oklahoma City does not maintain any public storm shelters. We urge residents to shelter in place.

“Shelter-in-Place” means to take shelter where you are, remaining inside your home, workplace or a nearby building.  Some emergencies require evacuation, but often during tornadoes, windstorms, floods and some chemical emergencies it is safer to stay where you are.

During severe weather, adequate shelter can save your life. Follow these four steps when instructed to shelter-in-place:

    1. Move people and pets indoors immediately and
      go to your predesignated shelter location. Underground
      shelters and basements are best, but if your house or
      building does not have one, go to the lowest level and
      choose a small interior room with no windows, such as
      a closet or bathroom. (If you are in a mobile home,
      find shelter elsewhere.)
    2. Crouch under a heavy piece of furniture. Cover
      yourself with blankets, pillows or a mattress and
      protect your head and neck with your arms.
    3. Turn on the radio or television in order to hear
      any Emergency Alert System messages and wait for
      further instructions.
    4. Stay inside until you are told that the danger has
      passed.
For more information: http://www.okc.gov/okcwx/
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If the Power Goes Out

  • Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
  • Use items in the refrigerator first, then freezer, then non-perishable foods.
  • Use safe alternative heating methods. DO NOT use candles or gas stoves.
  • Use generators correctly – If you have a portable generator and the power goes out, always plan to keep the generator outdoors. Never operate it inside, including the basement, garage, carport or near any open windows. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
  • Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring.

Portable Generator Safety Tips

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating and instructions before running generator.
  • Engines emit carbon monoxide. DO NOT run generator in enclosed area.
  • Use your generator outdoors only, away from open windows, vents, or doors. Never use your generator inside homes, garages, crawl spaces, or other enclosed areas. Fumes that can kill you can build up in these areas. Using a fan and opening doors or windows does NOT provide enough fresh air.
  • Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector when running your generator.
  • Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable, allow engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling. Always use fresh gas in your generator. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer.
  • Maintain your generator according to the maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.
  • DO NOT operate the generator near combustible materials.
  • When using extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get HOT, always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.
  • If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch. Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet.
  • Protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow. Generators produce powerful voltage; DO NOT operate under wet conditions.

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