Energy industry travelers who stay in Oklahoma hotels and motels might soon find tornado precaution information posted in their rooms. The Oklahoma House of Representatives has voted in support of a bill to require new hotels and motels to post tornado safety information in every room and common area.
It was last year when customers of a motel in El Reno were caught unaware by a tornado that leveled the place and an adjacent mobile home park.
House Bill 3016, authored by Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader (R-Piedmont) and coauthored by Sen. Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City), would require hotels and motels to post tornado safety information in every room and common area. The information, provided by the State Board of Health, would include the county, the hotel’s location on a state map, recommended safety precautions, and the day and time of local tornado siren testing.
Crosswhite Hader said the idea was brought to her by a constituent who, while staying in another part of the state, was unable to find information about tornado safety procedures when the county was under a tornado warning.
“This is a perfect example of a constituent realizing a problem and proposing an idea to fix it,” Crosswhite Hader said. “In dangerous weather conditions where every second counts, it’s important that visitors to our state have the information they need to be able to find safety and protect their families, especially with the renewed focus on promoting Oklahoma’s tourism capabilities.”
Crosswhite Hader said the legislation is not a new mandate on existing hotels and motels and would only require tornado safety information from new or renovated hotels and motels.
The Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association expressed their support of the bill.
“We commend Representative Crosswhite Hader for authoring HB 3016,” said Jim Hopper, CEO of the Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association. “Safety of our guests is always of utmost importance to our lodging industry members. We look forward to working with Representative Crosswhite Hader and the State Health Department as we work through the details of making tornado safety tips available to our guests.”
HB 3016 passed the House 89-0. It now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.
Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives