Download (PDF): Communicating Severe Weather Threats
(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / May 2, 2018) – The City of Stillwater Office of Emergency Management is committed to the safety and wellbeing of Stillwater’s residents and visitors during severe weather. We use every available option to inform people of potentially life-threatening situations, which often arise quickly, allowing us limited time to alert the community of impending dangers to life and property. However, it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure your personal safety.
To help you prepare, we’ve identified some useful websites that provide valuable information about how to stay weather ready.
If you have a storm shelter or safe room in your home, we also encourage you to register it with the City at http://stillwater.org/shelter.
Information gathered will be entered into a database to be used by rescue personnel responding to the disaster area. Your safe area can be an above-ground safe room, below-ground storm shelter, basement or other area of the house determined to provide protection from a disaster.
When Oklahoma City and Tulsa news stations report about storms, their primary concern is for the safety of residents in their metro areas. Stillwater Emergency Management’s only concern is alerting Stillwater residents and visitors about life-threating situations in Stillwater, so everyone (including vulnerable populations) has time to get to safety.
During severe weather events, we communicate using the following systems. We also highly recommend everyone have a NOAA weather radio, which is the equivalent of smoke detectors for the weather. When the weather radio’s alarm goes off, it’s your signal that there’s dangerous weather approaching.
Outdoor Storm Sirens
Emergency Management activates the outdoor warning system the first Tuesday of every month for routine maintenance and testing of the system. When activated during severe weather, sirens mean TAKE COVER NOW. Sirens are not intended to be heard indoors or to wake people who are sleeping.
The Tornado Warning sound is a steady three-minute tone followed by a verbal announcement, which states what the particular emergency is and what specific action you must take. [Note: This verbal announcement is not critical to saving lives; instead, it is used to verify the activation of the siren is intentional and not a malfunction or test.]
All Clear Messages
Emergency Management does not activate the sirens to indicate an ALL CLEAR; instead, we make a verbal announcement via the Outdoor Warning System stating that THE THREAT HAS PASSED AND ALL IS CLEAR. ALL CLEAR messages are also shared via cable override and social media platforms.
Since 1999, the City of Stillwater Office of Emergency Management has tested Stillwater’s outdoor warning system every first Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. to ensure it is working properly.
Should we need to postpone our routine monthly test on the first Tuesday, we will test the following Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Any further rescheduled monthly tests will occur on either a Tuesday or Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
These tests are critical to ensuring our outdoor warning system is working properly in the event of a tornado warning in our area.
Be Informed Stillwater is a state-of-the-art citywide notification system designed to alert residents about emergencies and other community news. This service allows you to sign up for alerts on home or cell phones, by voice or text messages, or by e-mail.
For example, you would receive notifications about emergencies that might affect your home, your workplace, and your child’s school. In addition to traditional emergency alerts, the system also allows you to choose to receive a variety of other important community alerts and informational bulletins that interest you. These alerts, which also includes ALL CLEAR messages for tornadoes.
To sign up, go to http://stillwater.org/page/home/online-services/emergency-alerts.
Social media is a good tool for providing critical local forecasts and updates leading up to and after severe weather. It’s generally not used while staff are in the middle of severe weather operations.
For media inquiries, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 405.742.8219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.