By Oklahoma When it comes to severe weather, proper preparation and knowing what to do in certain situations can save you and your family’s lives. That’s why I’m encouraging Oklahomans to Get Ready for when—not if—the next disaster happens. Storms in Oklahoma often occur without warning, not leaving you enough time to prepare. Here are three important steps you can take to stay safe during the storm:
1. Take Shelter Immediately
* Go to the basement or storm shelter. Put your family emergency plan into action and check your go-bag in case you must leave in a hurry.
* If you do not have a basement or storm shelter, go to the room at the lowest level in the home (i.e., hallway or bathroom), away from windows and corners where objects tend to collect. Cover yourself with a heavy object such as a mattress or sleeping bag to protect you from broken glass or flying debris.
* Stay in place until you are sure the storm has passed.
2. Stay Weather Informed
* Stay informed on weather updates. Monitor the storm’s progress and listen for warnings from local officials.
* Power outages are highly possible in severe weather. Unplug appliances that are not necessary for obtaining weather updates. Use phones only in an emergency.
* Have multiple sources to stay informed of the evolving conditions—TV and radio, emergency notifications via mobile devices, NOAA Weather Radio, etc. Make sure to have at least one source that does not require electricity.
3. Plan to Evacuate If Necessary
* Before leaving your home or driving anywhere, listen carefully to local weather experts and government officials who will be coordinating evacuation plans.
* Go to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible.
* DO NOT drive into high water. Six inches of water will wash away a person and two feet of water will wash away a car.
* Don’t forget the footwear. It is dangerous to walk outside barefoot because glass and other debris are everywhere during a storm.
To help Oklahomans prepare for this storm season, I’m releasing the three-part column series—Mulready Says Get Ready: Before, During and After the Storm. This comprehensive series will provide general preparedness tips for before, during and after disasters. Visit to check out Part I: Before the Storm. In the next series, I’ll share detailed information on the insurance claim process and how to recover quickly after disasters. Please stay tuned and visit for more information on how to Get Ready.
If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at
Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready