Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project

Series produced by KGOU

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The Oklahoma Tornado Project is a KGOU News effort to tell the stories that followed the deadly tornadoes that struck several Oklahoma cities in May of 2013. The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and KGOU, a division of the University of Oklahoma.

These are stories of:

Recovery from loss -- of homes, good health, or life itself
Rebuilding -- from private homes to public facilities
Re-examining how those who offered help served the victims and the public
Rethinking actions to take to stay safe when the next storm hits

Read our reports online or listen for them on KGOU:
105.7 FM Oklahoma City
106.3 FM Norman
88.1 FM Woodward
91.9 FM Ada

103.1 FM Seminole
97.9 FM Ada
106.9 FM Chickasha

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Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project stories are produced by KGOU News, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Reports may be used in any media with appropriate credit given to KGOU and CPB. For details, refer to our Terms of Use.


18 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Take Shelter Oklahoma spent Fall 2013 gathering signatures for its initiative petition and State Question 767. The group fell short by more than 30,000., Credit: Kurt Gwartney
Take Shelter Oklahoma, a school shelter advocacy group, goes to the Oklahoma Supreme Court against Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

  • Added: Mar 25, 2014
  • Length: 03:22
Caption: Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak speaks at a tax forum for tornado survivors., Credit: Kate Carlton
Tornado survivors look at how to deal with the upcoming tax season.

  • Added: Mar 25, 2014
  • Length: 03:15
Caption: Tornado damaged classroom in the Tower Elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma. An F5 tornado struck the area on May 20th, causing widespread destruction., Credit: Andrea Booher/FEMA
Oklahoma meteorologists are questioning whether schools taking "tornado days" during sever weather season is really the best idea.

  • Added: Feb 17, 2014
  • Length: 03:24
Caption: Governor Mary Fallin tours the Plaza Elementary School site days after the May 20 Moore tornado, Credit: The National Guard
Governor Mary Fallin recently came out in support of a plan to pay for school shelters across the state... 8 months after the May storms destroyed ...

  • Added: Feb 17, 2014
  • Length: 03:18
Caption: Wildcare founder Rondi Large, Credit: Kate Carlton
Wildlife rehab center seeks help for first time ever following May tornadoes. What made this time different?

  • Added: Jan 27, 2014
  • Length: 03:35
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After the May storms in Oklahoma, nearly 850 pets were displaced. Of those, roughly 1/3 were never reunited with their original owners. The Oklahom...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2014
  • Length: 03:14
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Art Feeds starts a 12-lesson plan at schools destroyed by May 2013 tornadoes

Bought by WXDU


  • Added: Jan 13, 2014
  • Length: 03:18
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Lieutenant Briar Orr, Credit: Kate Carlton
This piece looks at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's response to mental health trauma after the May 2013 tornadoes.

  • Added: Jan 13, 2014
  • Length: 02:58
Caption: Kim Rollins sits with some of the donated ornaments she has acquired over the past few weeks., Credit: Kate Carlton
Moore, OK resident Kim Rollins collects and distributes Christmas ornaments for people who lost everything in the city's devastating May 20 tornado.

  • Added: Dec 16, 2013
  • Length: 03:18
Caption: Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen respond to the Moore tornado on May 20, 2013., Credit: The National Guard
In the hours after the tornado tore through Moore back in May, nearly 400 National Guardsmen went to the scene to search for survivors, clear roads...

  • Added: Dec 09, 2013
  • Length: 03:23
Caption: Bettie and Joel Spears stand in front of their new home., Credit: Kate Carlton
Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity recently completed its first house for survivors of the May tornadoes that swept through Central Oklahoma.

  • Added: Nov 25, 2013
  • Length: 03:35
Caption: Pallets of water fill one of Feed the Children's Oklahoma City warehouses, Credit: Kate Carlton
Six months after a series of tornadoes tore through the Oklahoma City area, The Oklahoma Tornado Project looks back at the role of private donation...

  • Added: Nov 21, 2013
  • Length: 03:12
Caption: KWTV Meteorologist Gary England calls for donations May 20, 2013., Credit: News 9 archives
KWTV and other media outlets in Oklahoma and across the country asked for donations following the Moore tornadoes. Products and cash flooded in, bu...

  • Added: Nov 19, 2013
  • Length: 02:55
Caption: James E. McNellie's Public House - Oklahoma City, Credit: Kate Carlton
McNellie's Public House in Oklahoma chose to donate all proceeds from Oklahoma beer sales May 22 - 31. This effort raised $28,000. The Oklahoma Tor...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2013
  • Length: 02:44
Caption: Katie Western as Swirl Girl and Rick Smith at the 2012 National Weather Festival, Credit: Kate Carlton
The National Weather Center in Norman adjusts its annual weather festival in response to the state's May 2013 tornadoes.

  • Added: Dec 16, 2013
  • Length: 03:35
Caption: Kristy Yager, Erin Engelke and Cynthia Reid discuss lessons they learned from the May tornadoes at a panel discussion held by the Oklahoma City chapter of the Association of Women in Communication., Credit: Kate Carlton
Since tornadoes struck Central Oklahoma in May, Oklahoma City's communication leaders have evaluated their disaster response plans. Many have found...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2013
  • Length: 03:16
Caption: Danni Legg, Credit: Kate Carlton
Oklahoma State Representative Joe Dorman recently released a study showing only 15% of Oklahoma K-12 school buildings have FEMA-approved shelters o...

  • Added: Oct 07, 2013
  • Length: 04:00
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In September, the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project opened its doors to provide case management assistance to people still navigating the tornado ...

  • Added: Oct 01, 2013
  • Length: 03:08