Always Be Ready
First and foremost, be aware of the best way to seek shelter and avoid immediate physical harm in the case of an emergency. Heed the warnings issued by storm trackers at the National Weather Service and by local meteorologists. If you are driving in or near the path of a storm, do not attempt to outrun it in a vehicle and do not hide under an overpass or a bridge. Find a low, flat location and cover your head and neck with your arms. If you have a blanket or coat available, wrap yourself up. Second, households should always have a physical communications plan readily available. If members of your family happen to be in different locations during severe weather, this plan can be vital to getting in contact and reuniting with your loved ones after a disaster. To help your family compile contact information and meeting places, FEMA has a printable template available at ready.gov/make-a-plan. Third, everyone should have supplies on hand. At minimum, a supply kit should include water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights and spare batteries. These items can be indispensable in the aftermath of a storm.
On Sunday @chiefbillbaker went out with the tribe’s first responders to assess Arkansas River flooding and damage in Fort Gibson, which is in the heart of the Cherokee Nation. #OkWx pic.twitter.com/O60HQdO9hH— CherokeeNation (@CherokeeNation) May 28, 2019
Finally, make sure that you are aware of the local and national media outlets that will keep you updated throughout severe weather. It is important to use all available mediums – including radio, television and social media. The Wireless Emergency Alerts system also provides lifesaving warnings and alerts if you can’t access the internet, TV or radio. No sign up is required for these critical updates issued via text message. Learn more at weather.gov/wrn/wea. Although severe weather can be difficult to predict, it is easy to create a readiness plan and ensure your family is prepared. Be sure to visit ready.gov for more valuable resources and tips that could help you and your loved ones stay safe. If you have questions or need additional resources, please call my Norman office at (405) 329-6500.
Tom Cole, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, is serving his eighth term in Congress as the elected representative of Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District. He is recognized as an advocate for taxpayers and small business, a proponent for a strong national defense and a leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.
Join the Conversation