Oklahoma has the second-most tornados per year, behind Indiana.  There were 63 tornados in 2012, most in April.  Part of living in Tulsa is getting out of bed when the Tornado siren starts, and listening to the weather with your family in the bathroom or the basement.

Tulsa sirens are used for tornado warnings, as well as for chemical release, nuclear attacks, and impending flooding.  The tornado warning is a steady tone that continues for three minutes, off for a minute, and then one for three minutes.  The sirens are tested Wednesday at noon for one minute, when the weather is good.  When you hear the siren, it is time to seek shelter and monitor local media for weather information.  There is no 'all clear' siren - monitor local media to find out when the warning has been lifted.

Most Tulsans gather in their basement or bathroom while waiting out a tornado warning.  You may want to have a tornado kit, including flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and blankets.  After your third or fourth tornado warning, you may also want a book, pillows, and something to keep kids entertained.

To get more information on storm progress, use your radio, TV, or internet to tune into a local weather station:

KRMG also has StormCenter alerts, which will send you a text message when bad weather is reported for the area.  To signup, text the word WEATHER to 95920.

Significant Tornados

On May 20, 2013, an EF4 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City.  The tornado was 2 miles wide at some points, and hit many buildings, including Plaza Towers Elementary School and Moore Medical Center.

For information about Tornados

Tornado FAQs from the NOAAhttp://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/

Know the Terms

  • Tornado Watch -- Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to a weather radio, commercial radio, or television for alerts or news.
  • Tornado Warning -- A tornado has been spotted or indicated by a weather radar. Take cover immediately.

Links to tornado specific planning and resources

Get ready for a tornado by gathering the following items:

•Water—one gallon per person, per day
• Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
• Flashlight
•Battery-powered or handcrank radio (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation& personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family & emergency contact information
• Extra cash