Congresswoman Bice urges Oklahomans to be weather aware


Having grown up in Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice knows a thing or two about severe weather including tornadoes.

In a message to her constituents, she wrote of “Being Weather Aware.”

Below is her column.

In our state, we live by the line, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.” It’s an acknowledgment of the state’s unpredictable weather patterns, which can be both a blessing and a curse. However, with the rapid onset of severe weather events, this unpredictability can turn dangerous if we’re not prepared. As Oklahomans, we’ve experienced more FEMA-declared disasters than any other state since 2000. In these moments, every second counts. That’s why understanding what weather to expect, when to expect it, and where to go to avoid it is crucial.

Through our work on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Lucas and I introduced legislation called the Weather Act that would play a vital role in enhancing our preparedness. This legislation focuses on enhancing the nation’s weather forecasting capabilities, improving communication of weather-related information, and bolstering research into weather prediction and mitigation strategies. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and research, we aim to provide more accurate and timely forecasts, giving individuals and communities the information they need to make informed decisions during severe weather events.

However, passing legislation alone is not enough. It’s equally important for Oklahomans to take proactive steps to prepare for weather disasters. Whether it’s creating an emergency kit, establishing a family communication plan, or staying informed through reliable weather sources, there are simple yet effective measures we can all take to mitigate the impact of severe weather on our lives. For Oklahomans, staying weather aware is ingrained in our culture. We understand the importance of paying attention to weather warnings and taking swift action when necessary. This week, I was honored to spend time in Seminole and Shawnee. Both communities are still recovering from devastating tornados in recent years. Even with our state’s resilience, we must continuously strive to improve our preparedness efforts and streamline processes to deliver necessary relief.

We know that weather has a mind of its own and it is vital that we stay committed to safeguarding our communities from the dangers of severe weather. Continuing to properly utilize our resources will enhance our preparedness and response capabilities. Finally, let us come together as neighbors, friends, and fellow Oklahomans to ensure that we are always ready to face whatever challenges nature may throw our way.

By remaining weather aware and proactive in our preparedness efforts, we can better protect our families, homes, and livelihoods from the devastating impacts of severe weather. Together, let’s build a safer and more resilient Oklahoma for generations to come.