Oddly enough, as we move into the prime severe weather season, you and I are about to be inundated with information and little "feel good" features and news blurbs about tornado preparedness. Not to say it isn't good information, but the media outlets just bust these out of their vaults each year and they haven't changed in years.

At some point, the 20th-century news media in Oklahoma has to realize we now live in the 21st century... At least, more than just saying "Download our app for details on this life-threatening storm..." That seems like a disservice to the community.


Within the next week or so, you're going to either read or watch something about severe weather that talks about the importance of Oklahoma tornado basics...

Have a plan... Make sure the family knows the plan... Do a drill to double-check that everyone knows the plan... It's all standard stuff until they get to the aging "stock up on (these items)" list.

Keep extra blankets in your safe space. Stock it with plenty of water and a little non-perishable food, just the basics--but every single one of these lists forget about the human element and the fact we're so technologically connected.

What am I going on about? The most important item you can stash away in your tornado shelter safe space is a battery backup power source for your smart devices. A way to plug in and charge your phone in the event the power goes out and you need access to the most timely information possible.

It doesn't need to be name-brand or expensive, it only needs to hold a charge to provide power. Luckily, the lithium-ion batteries all of these power-bank products use keep very well in storage. If you left one charged up from last year in your kit, odds are it's probably close to being 100% charged still this year, depending on the features. Still, check and double-check it so you won't be left in the dark when you need information the most.

Also, don't forget about things for the kids. While it may be tempting to hand over your phone or a tablet, those are going to eat away at your power... Instead, store a few fun games in your safe space. Skip-Bo, Uno, dominoes, Cards Against Humanity, Candyland, etc... Things that your kids will enjoy playing. It'll make the time go by and keep their minds off the dangers of severe weather.

Tornado Records from Around the Country

With tornadoes on our minds the last few days, I started to wonder about many of the tornado records. How many in one day, biggest outbreak, strongest tornado in history, etc... While we all feel Oklahoma is the home of terrible tornadoes, the stats are somewhat surprising.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Odd and Unbelievable Tornado Facts

As far as we've come in the technology surrounding severe weather and tornadoes, there's still a massive amount science still doesn't understand. Yes, there is a generally agreed idea of how they begin, the conditions needed, and the usual atmospheric conditions, but twisters are still wildly unpredictable. Even more fascinating are the strange and almost terrifying facts about these powerful displays of nature.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Things You'll Need in Your Oklahoma Tornado Prep Kit

Even though the odds of your life being affected by a tornado are extremely thin, there's no harm in being prepared with basic necessities. Even if the storm misses your home you could still find yourself without power or water for days to weeks. Here's a quick rundown on the basics every home should have for tornado season in Oklahoma.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

The Ten Most Tornado-Prone Counties in America

When it comes to the topic of tornadoes, Oklahoma is universally known around the world for producing some of the biggest, including the last F6 ever measured... but it'd probably surprise most Okies that the Sooner State doesn't even crack the top five of the most tornado-prone counties in America.

Gallery Credit: Kelso


More From KZCD-FM