Oklahoma Tornado Raises Safety Questions

Jane Collins, Junior Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, May 20th, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was devastated by a category EF5 tornado, the highest rating on the scale. With winds of more than 200 miles per hour and a path of destruction about 20 miles long, the tornado stayed on land for almost 40 minutes. 24 people have been reported dead, with three children still missing.


Simply put, the people in the area were not prepared to seek proper shelter despite living in the most popular spot for tornadoes around the world. The five public schools that were hit had no basements or storm safe rooms. In the surrounding suburb, homes were unprepared after FEMA did not follow through with their promise of $2 million quickly enough.


Safe rooms cost between $8.000-$10,000 to construct, and only 500 out of 16,000 applicants for financial aid to build one were granted money. Additionally, Timothy Marshall, an engineer, released a report more than 10 years ago warning that houses in Moore could handle winds of less than 90 mph, no more.


The sorry state of Moore, Oklahoma, before and after the storm, will hopefully be a wake up call for surrounding areas. Preparation can be the most important factor in determining the impact of a storm.