Kate Carlton

Reporter

Kate Carlton reports for "Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project." She covers Oklahoma's efforts in tornado response and preparation for future storms. Kate served as the Community Calendar Producer from January to August in 2013 and worked as a reporter for Assignment: Radio. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Panel Highlights Different Reactions To 1999 And 2013 Moore Tornadoes

NOAA's Harold Brooks and Representative Joe Dorman speak at the Nov. 19 KGOU Panel.
Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Ever since last spring’s tornado that destroyed two elementary schools and killed seven children in Moore, it’s been hard to escape the debate over school shelters. There are petitions circulating around the state, and everyone seems to have an opinion on the issue.

KGOU recently held a panel about funding these shelters and discovered people are approaching this differently than they did following the Moore tornado in 1999.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Bethel Acres Family Finds New Foundation After May Tornadoes

Bettie and Joel Spears in front of their new home.
Credit Kate Carlton

When a series of tornadoes battered Central Oklahoma last spring, close to 4,500 houses were damaged or destroyed.  Six months later, many organizations are helping rebuild these homes and restore normalcy to the affected families. One of those organizations, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, has just finished its first home for one couple affected by the storms. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Hold Onto That Water, Cash Is King In Crises

Pallets of water fill one of Feed the Children's Oklahoma City warehouses.
Credit Kate Carlton

Six months after a series of tornadoes tore through the Oklahoma City area, we’re looking back this week at the role of private donations in the recovery effort. 

Whenever a disaster strikes, Oklahomans and people from across the country generally pitch in and do whatever they can to help.  But in the final part of our series,  we find despite people’s best intentions, oftentimes the help that arrives is not the help that’s needed most. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Media May Muddle Disaster Relief Drive Efficiency

Gary England calls for donations May 20, 2013.
Credit News 9 archive

Six months after tornadoes devastated the Oklahoma City area, we’re looking back this week at the role of private donations in the recovery effort. 

When the storms hit, the media were some of the greatest sources for information. They assumed authority, provided immediacy and acted as a clearinghouse for the influx of data. But in part two of our series today, we investigate whether the media’s response was as efficient as it seemed to be.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:34 am
Mon November 18, 2013

McNellie's Pub Raises $28K For Tornado Relief, Motivated By Community Involvement

James E. McNellie's Public House - Oklahoma City
Credit Kate Carlton

Six months after a series of devastating tornados touched down in Central Oklahoma, we’re taking a look back this week at the recovery effort.  In the aftermath of the storms, private charities raised close to $70 million, and tens of millions more in in-kind donations poured into the region.  But some of that aid was more helpful than others.

In part one of our series today, we look at local businesses who donated their proceeds and the balance between good public relations and an altruistic desire to help.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

National Weather Center Aims To "Prepare, Respond, Restore" At This Year's Festival

Katie Western as Swirl Girl and Rick Smith at the 2012 National Weather Festival.
Credit Kate-Lynn Walsh

Katie Western practices her lines for the upcoming National Weather Festival. She’s majoring in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is one of the festival’s Weather Friends, a group of superheroes representing each kind of severe weather. Katie’s character goes by the name “Swirl Girl.” She’ll run around in a costume and answer questions about tornado preparedness. And even though it’s fun, Katie realizes her role may be more important this year than it has been in years past. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
1:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Fight For Safe Rooms Leads To Oklahoma Supreme Court

Credit hyku / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kathy Turner works with Take Shelter Oklahoma.  The group wants to build safe rooms to protect students from tornadoes like the one that destroyed Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools in Moore.  Turner says her experience as a former school administrator showed her how important government funding can be.

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Ahead of the Storm
6:43 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Call For Ability To Adapt

Kristy Yager, Erin Engelke and Cynthia Reid discuss lessons they learned from the May tornadoes at a panel discussion held by the Oklahoma City chapter of the Association of Women in Communication.
Credit Kate Carlton

Kristy Yager is the Public Information Officer for Oklahoma City.  She’s used to creating game plans for emergencies.  So when May 20 came, she made her way to a bunker with emergency managers, police and a handful of city officials.  She’d prepared for the crisis as best she could, but found herself overwhelmed trying to handle the influx of media requests. 

“The minute that tornado hit the ground, I started getting national phone calls from everyone, from Fox, from CNN, from ABC, NBC, CBS,” Yager said. “I was having a very hard time managing the calls.”

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Ahead of the Storm
8:44 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Parents, Officials Search For Solution To Oklahoma School Shelter Scarcity

Danni Legg transferred her children to Kelley Elementary in Moore, the only elementary school in the district with a safe area for tornadoes.
Credit Kate Carlton

Danni Legg transferred her two kids to Kelley Elementary this past August. She moved them from Plaza Towers Elementary, after the tornado in May destroyed the school, causing the death of her middle child, Christopher, along with six other students.  Legg says returning to Moore after the tragedy was something she did for her children. 

"I wanted my children to understand the town didn't kill their brother," Legg said. "A tornado and the lack of good construction in the building is what killed their brother."

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Ahead of the Storm
6:41 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project Assists Those Still Stuck In Tornado Aftermath

Ken Garcia, Communications Director for the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma

After tornadoes tore through the state last May, Oklahomans were eager to offer help. Four months later, some groups have closed their doors and moved on, leaving people stuck in red tape with nowhere to go. Recently, the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project opened its doors to the 2,500 individuals still trying to navigate their way through the recovery process. 

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