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Midwest City closing public storm shelters

BY KAY HUNT, City of Midwest City Modified: December 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm •  Published: December 19, 2012

MIDWEST CITY -- The Midwest City Council recently voted to pass a resolution regarding closing the public storm shelters in the city. The resolution will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Citing public safety as the primary reason for the resolution, it states, in part, that traveling to a public storm shelter immediately prior to or during a severe weather event exposes citizens to the very hazard they are attempting to avoid and increases the risk that they will be injured or harmed in the process of seeking shelter during a severe weather event.

According to Emergency Management Director Mike Bower, a vehicle is one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado. Tornadoes can happen at night and if you are awaken by sirens or a hazard weather radio at 2 a.m., you are not likely to have enough time to gather your family, load them in a car and drive to a public shelter.

“Sheltering in place affords our citizens the quickest and best protection during a tornado event,” Bower said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that everyone prepare, plan and stay informed of possible severe weather. Citizen’s can visit the FEMA website, to learn about severe weather safety and preparedness strategies.

Bower said that all citizens are encouraged to utilize an all-hazards weather radio to notify them of possible severe weather in the area. These radios are available at several local stores. Bower added that the Emergency Management department will assist residents with the programming of the radio.


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