, Muskogee, OK

May 30, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK – Council should require safe rooms to be built

— I’ve been watching the news of the devastation in Moore, and others hit by tornadoes, and I called our police department here in Muskogee to see what shelters were here for our citizens, to find shelter in and to my surprise, “there is nowhere to go.”

Some seek shelter in the emergency room at EASTAR (MRMC) but that is bad, as the hospitals needs the room for people injured if there should be a storm here like they had in Moore.

So I got to thinking and all large cities should be required to have a safe room in all apartment complexes, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. Anywhere there are several tenants or patients. City Council should make it a requirement that a safe room be built for their safety. If I was mayor or city councilor, this would be at the top of my list of priorities, as it would be total devastation, here in Muskogee, if we were hit by even an EF2.

Even our schools should be required to have safe rooms for teachers and students. I know where I live, in this entire complex, there is not a safe place to seek shelter, and therefore, it puts you to your knees when a thunderstorm is headed our way. It seems that even though we live in tornado alley, no concern is given for the safety of Oklahomans!

When you rent, you cannot add a safe room to rental property, especially apartment complexes. So citizens of Muskogee, when we vote for council members or mayor, shouldn’t that be one of our questions to your council member or mayor before voting for them, for the safety of our families? Are you willing to fight and vote for safe rooms to be built?

If small towns like Fort Gibson, or Warner can afford it and makes sure there is a place of safety, cannot Muskogee afford to protect the citizens and children by having designated shelters? Have them open before the sirens are sounded! Seniors cannot move fast enough to wait until they sound the alarm.