Everyone has heard of the mythical exploits of Florida Man. The character is crazy, entertaining, and never fails to grab headlines. However, it is about time for a new character to make an appearance. Allow me to introduce you to Oklahoma Man. There aren’t any gators to catch in Oklahoma unless someone’s pet gets loose. However, the Sooner State has plenty of extreme weather.
Oklahoma residents know all about the eerie call of a tornado siren. Sometimes, it’s the only warning they get before the sky’s destructive middle finger touches the ground and lays waste to a neighborhood. Other times, siren tests shatter the calm of an otherwise peaceful afternoon. Hearing those sirens on a clear day can be exceptionally irritating. However, if they don’t work, things get worse in a hurry. Luckily, one Oklahoma Man has a solid plan to warn his neighbors if his town’s tornado sirens fail.
Man, oh man, the spring and fall are tough times for the state of Oklahoma. That’s when the storms start to roll in and tornados fall from the sky. However, this month has been exceptional. In fact, BroBible reported that this month might rank second for the number of tornadoes in October for the Sooner State. Earlier this week, three twisters touched down in central Oklahoma. That brings the state’s total to 12 for the month. That’s nearly one per day, at this point.
Dillon Richards, the man on the scene for Oklahoma City’s ABC affiliate ran into Ray Payne while assessing the damage. I grew up in Oklahoma. So, I almost expected Payne to tell Richards, in detail, how the tornado sounded and why he was outside when it touched down. Look, we’re a different breed of people. When you see that many storms, you start to get desensitized.
Ray Payne: Oklahoma Man and Sentinel of the Neighborhood
However, Payne turned out to be the Oklahoma Man the whole state can be proud of. Instead of explaining that he’s an amateur storm chaser, he laid out a plan to keep his neighbors safe. If those haunting and all-important sirens ever fail, Payne has his neighborhood covered. He told the reporter that he plans to go outside and yell, “NEIGHBORS BEWARE!” before sounding his bugle. Check out the video below.
The BroBible report has a few questions about Payne’s approach to keeping his neighbors safe. I imagine they’re common questions. They wanted to know how he would know the tornado is coming if the sirens fail and if he’d be effective if the twister was already that close.
The first part is pretty simple. He could watch the news, keep up with the weather, and keep his eyes on the sky. It’s not hard to see a funnel cloud forming in the distance. After you’ve seen a few, you become a decent judge of how much time you have. That leads me to the second question. Would Payne’s strategy be effective if the storm was already that close? As a former Oklahoma Man, I can tell you that every second counts when it comes to these big storms. So, if he can give his neighbors even a few minutes, Payne could save some lives.