Managing Disaster: A new report on the 2013 Oklahoma Tornado

  • 16 February 2016
  • Number of views: 2515

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:




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 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


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