Since the deadly tornadoes that struck the state this spring, StateImpact has been taking a look at Oklahoma’s severe weather policy, and asking questions like: Why aren’t there more safe rooms in schools?
More than 10,000 individual tornado shelters have been built in Oklahoma since 1999 with the help of a state rebate program that provides up to $2,000 toward the cost of installing safe rooms in homes or underground.
So it seems the state is doing a lot to make taking shelter simpler and more affordable.
The City of Oklahoma City is releasing more contracted crews to help clean up debris left behind from the tornadoes that tore through the state in May.
Residents are asked to divide debris into three piles, all of which will be collected by separate crews. Those piles include storm debris, normal bulky waste, and hazardous materials. Collection begins July 22.
Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’
Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.