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Tornado and severe weather preparedness
City of Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has 182 tornado warning sirens located across Oklahoma, Canadian and Cleveland counties. The sirens are activated in each county for which the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning.

The sirens are reactivated each time the National Weather Service issues a new tornado warning, so they may sound more than once. No “all clear” signal is given when the threat has passed.

The siren is your cue to turn on your television, radio or all-hazards alert weather radio to get information about the storm’s location and proper protective actions. Citizens are encouraged to monitor weather conditions until the threat has passed.

Oklahoma City has no designated public storm shelters.

Signs of a Tornado

Tornado Safety

Shelter-in-place safest plan during tornado warnings
Public advised against traveling to shelters


Shelter-in-place: that’s the recommendation of Oklahoma City Emergency Management whose advice to people is to shelter-in-place during tornado warnings.

Shelter-in-place means to take shelter where you are, remaining inside your home, workplace or a nearby building. Most homes provide adequate protection from 98 percent of Oklahoma’s tornados. People who live in trailers or manufactured homes should have a plan to seek shelter in a well- constructed building nearby.

An interior hallway or room without exterior windows and doors on the lowest level of your house is typically the safest place to be during a tornado. If you have a bicycle helmet, or any type of helmet, put it on. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes when you take cover. Shoes will protect your feet if you need to walk through debris.

People who live on the upper level of an apartment building should seek shelter in an apartment on the lowest level of the complex.

Your vehicle is one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado. Find a business to shelter in. Never seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass. If you are stranded outside, lie down in a ditch or low lying area away from your vehicle.

Personal preparedness limits risk and anxiety. The best thing residents can do to protect themselves against the impact of a tornado is install a safe room or storm shelter in their homes. These shelters are designed to give protection from the forces of extreme winds as high as 250 miles per hour.

Having a personal plan and staying informed are the two most critical elements in staying safe during severe weather.

What is a tornado watch?

What is a tornado warning?

What to do after a tornado.