Those early spring thunderstorms are always a good reminder that it's time to freshen up your family's tornado precaution plan. Are you prepared?

We've talked before about the lack of public storm shelters in Lawton, so in reality, your safety is your responsibility. That's where your plan and plenty of practice is so important.

Unless your house has a shelter either built-in or in the backyard, you're going to be taking cover in the smallest interior room. Unfortunately, the way most Lawton houses are built, most rooms have at least one outside wall. In that case, you'll want to move to the Northeastern part of the home, or pack into a central hallway or small bathroom.

The idea is to find a small space as those are usually the parts of the house left standing when tornadoes do what they do best. It should go without saying you need to be on the ground floor also, as close to the ground as possible.

If you have kids, be sure to go ahead and place some necessities in that space for the next two months. Extra blankets, a couple of pillows, Uno is always a hit. Flashlights, a lantern, power banks, tablets & phones, etc... You keep the kids focused on anything else, you'll get through those sirens with ease.

Don't go overboard with the plan. Keep it simple. The odds of your home being touched by a tornado are very, very slim. You have better odds of winning the lottery...

You need to practice your tornado drill as a family, just like we had fire drills in school... The more you practice, the easier and more relaxed everyone will be in that moment of impending doom - again, you're more likely to be struck by lightning than hit by a tornado... but you know the imagination runs wild when you hear those sirens.

It takes fifteen minutes to make a plan that works for your family. It only takes a few hours to prep your area with necessities. I keep mine in a plastic tub in my safe space. It'll only take a few minutes a few times each week to run some practice drills, getting everyone used to it so there's no panic when the sirens do go off. Make it part of your next family game night. Play a hand of Uno while you're in there, nobody is going to complain about fun.

Good luck, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

The Beauty Of Southwest Oklahoma

Too many people spend too much time complaining about being in Southwest Oklahoma. If only they'd shut their mouths and open their eyes from time to time, then they'd see the true beauty of this place.