Climate Program Office News

Managing Disaster: A new report on the 2013 Oklahoma Tornado

  • 16 February 2016
  • Number of views: 2571

The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), a NOAA RISA team, have released a new report on the emergency management response to the May 20, 2013 EF-5 tornado that struck central Oklahoma. 

The report outlines the unique opportunity provided by the event: to learn how communities in the area dealt with what could be considered a repeat disaster. Two other violent tornadoes took very similar paths across central Oklahoma in recent years: an F-5 on 3 May 1999 and an F-4 on 8 May 2003.

SCIPP researchers at the University of Oklahoma studied the perspectives of city, county and medical emergency management officials and a nonprofit organization involved in planning and preparing for and responding to the 2013 tornado disaster. All but one of the study participants were involved in managing and responding to previous tornado disasters in the area. 

The event provided the opportunity to see how well the planning, preparedness and response efforts that were implemented after previous disasters worked and what might be improved should another disaster of this magnitude occur in the area. 

Access a PDF of the reportat:



About the Climate Program Office

The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


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