« Continuity of Operations Planning

Oklahoma meteorologist under fire after giving advice to viewers

A continuity of operations plan will give residents the tools they need to help keep them from danger.
A continuity of operations plan will give residents the tools they need to help keep them from danger.

Mike Morgan has a long relationship with meteorology. Morgan was an intern at the National Weather Service when he was just 13 years old. Throughout his career in weather service, Morgan received awards from organizations like the National Directors' Association and Emmy's , according to KFOR.

There is no doubt that Morgan is an essential part to KFOR's team because he is good at his job. However, his advice to viewers regarding last week's tornado turned out to put more Oklahomans at risk than expected.

"You cannot be above ground in Yukon … Go south," Morgan said during the live broadcast. "And you need to go now. And you need to be below ground. Interior closet or bathrooms, not going to do it."

To viewers, this went against their usual continuity of operations planning. Oklahomans are familiar with hiding in basements, away from windows or in bathtubs with pillows on top of their bodies. People at home took his advice and drove on I-35 and I-40 to drive away from the storm and ended up sitting bumper to bumper on the interstate as the tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City area, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Last week's tornado turned out to be the widest one recorded in U.S history at 2.6 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

During times of severe weather, it is essential for residents to adhere to their city or town's established continuity of operations plan. When area leaders take the time to clearly notify residents what they must do in an emergency, it will ensure that they remain safe and do not interfere with first responders.