Ponca City, OK
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Ponca City Emergency Management – Tornado Warning Processes & ToolsFree Access

After tornadoes hit Tulsa over the weekend, there has been a lot of discussion about warning processes and tools. Rick Smith, Warning Coordinator for the National Weather Service in
Norman, released this public safety message Monday morning. The information here is well worth posting.

FACT:
Tornado season in Oklahoma runs from January 1st through December 31st. . They can happen at any hour of the day.

FACT:
You will not get a warning for every single tornado. Some will happen before a warning can be issued. Thankfully, most of those are on the weaker side of the intensity spectrum.

FACT:
Tornadoes can happen with no Tornado Watch in effect.

FACT:
If you don’t have multiple ways to get a tornado warning while you’re sleeping, it won’t matter if there’s a warning or not.

FACT:
Not all tornadoes come from big, rotating supercell storms with wall clouds that spotters and chasers can easily see. Some tornadoes develop very quickly on the leading edge of a line of
thunderstorms, and these are often nearly impossible to see.

FACT:
Outdoor warning sirens are to alert people who are outdoors. They are not designed to be heard inside your home, business, school or vehicle.

FACT:
Outdoor warning sirens are not supposed to be able to wake you up.

FACT:
If you depend on a siren to be your sole trigger for deciding whether to take shelter, you are living very dangerously.

Ponca City’s policy for tornado warning activation is triggered by NWS Tornado Warnings & Ponca City’s location in relation to the storms.

Paula Cain, Emergency Management Director, added the following suggestions as well:

  • Weather radio and smart phone apps are great warning methods; have one of each.
  • Take Thunderstorm Warnings seriously. A Thunderstorm Warning is only issued if conditions are expected to be dangerous enough to cause damage and injuries. In addition, a tornado can develop anytime there is a thunderstorm occurring. So if a thunderstorm warning is issued, be prepared to immediately seek shelter.

Contact: Paula Cain, Emergency Management Director, 767-0380

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