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Sheltering in Place

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The City of OKC doesn't have public tornado shelters. Stay safe from tornadoes by sheltering-in-place.

Why doesn't OKC have public shelters?

Being in a vehicle is one of the most dangerous places to be in a tornado, and risking a drive to a shelter during severe weather could be deadly. Many deaths attributable to tornadoes are attributed to being in a vehicle.

Traffic congestion from hundreds or thousands of other residents trying to get to public shelters could have tragic consequences.

The City of OKC recommends you be informed about the weather and have a plan to shelter-in-place at home or work or wherever you are likely to be if there's a tornado threat. Most well-constructed homes provide life-saving protection from 98% of Oklahoma's tornadoes. 


Get inside a well-constructed building and seek shelter if a tornado is nearby. Flying debris is the greatest danger.

The safest place to be is a storm shelter built to FEMA or ICC 500 standards, or a basement.

If there's no storm shelter, get to the inner-most room, hallway or closet on the lowest level of the building. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible, and stay away from windows and doors.

Wear a helmet and/or use pillows, cushions and thick blankets for additional protection. Wear sturdy shoes that will protect your feet if you have to walk through debris.

Vehicles are unsafe in tornadoes. If you're driving when a tornado threat is nearby, get to the closest well-constructed building to take shelter. Never attempt to outrun a tornado by driving.

Mobile homes are unsafe in tornadoes. Have a plan to get to the nearest well-constructed building to take shelter.

If you have a storm shelter at your home, register it with the City of OKC so emergency crews know where to find you in a disaster.