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City of Ponca City shares reminder about storm shelters


The City of Ponca City does not maintain public storm shelters. At this time there are no buildings that meet the construction specifications established by Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Department, and adopted by FEMA. In addition, there are a number of reasons why relying on a public shelter is a dangerous idea.

Travel: Travel to a public shelter puts the individual at more risk than he would be exposed to if sheltering in place. The risk of injury or death during severe weather is ten times greater when vehicles are involved. Travel can involve other obstacles as well. Debris blocked roadways and traffic jams are common problems. Vehicles are NEVER safe in severe weather and the last place you want to be.

Public Shelters: Shelter accessibility is the biggest challenge. Public shelters are most often staffed by volunteers, who may or may not be available at the time of need.

Develop a plan and practice it regularly with all family members.

Residential safe rooms or personal storm shelters provide the best protection from tornados and high wind events. If underground shelter is not available it is still a better option to “shelter in place.” Individuals living in manufactured housing or mobile homes should ALWAYS seek shelter elsewhere.

–Awareness is vital! If you live in Oklahoma you know that severe weather is a real threat. There are numerous systems that can ensure your awareness, including all-hazard or weather radios, free notification programs for your computer or phone and local broadcast media.

Constructing a personal shelter is the best option, but if that is not possible…..develop your plan today and stay informed of conditions.