Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rep. Ownbey Files Legislation to Prevent Tornado Deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY (January 19, 2010) – State Rep. Pat Ownbey has filed legislation to help protect Oklahomans from the type of devastating tornado that struck Lone Grove last year.

House Bill 2835 would require the owner of a mobile home park to provide tenants a plan for the sheltering or evacuation to a safe place of shelter of the tenants of the park during a tornado, high winds or flooding. The legislation requires the plan be developed with the assistance of the municipality where the mobile home park is located or the county emergency operations office or the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

“The Lone Grove disaster resulted in the death of several Oklahomans,” Ownbey said. “Lives could have been saved if there had been more access to tornado shelters. Mobile home parks are particularly vulnerable and I think this legislation will save lives.”

Ownbey said that because the legislation has no cost, it can be approved even in a tight budget year.

“I deliberately chose a cost-free solution because I know it will be hard to get bills passed with price tags attached,” Ownbey, R-Ardmore, said. “I had looked at a tax credit for mobile home parks to install shelters, but I think this legislation moves us in the right direction by ensuring mobile home park residents have a safe place to go and know how to get there.”
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