Oklahoma : Safety by City
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- Oklahoma City
Moore, Oklahoma, a vibrant city south of Oklahoma City, holds a storied past intertwined with resilience and community spirit.
Initially settled during the Land Run of 1889, Moore emerged as an agricultural hub, fostering a tight-knit community that prides itself on unity.
The city bears the indelible mark of tornado history, notably the devastating tornadoes in 1999 and 2013 that reshaped its landscape.
These events, while tragic, showcased the unwavering strength of Moore’s inhabitants, sparking an evolution in resilient building practices and emergency preparedness.
Despite its tumultuous weather history, Moore beckons visitors for various reasons.
Its deeply ingrained sense of community shines through annual events like the Moore War Run, symbolizing solidarity.
Moreover, the city boasts a blend of modern amenities and small-town charm, offering a glimpse into Oklahoma’s heartland.
Visitors find allure in Moore’s resilient spirit, witnessing firsthand the community’s determination to rebuild and thrive despite adversities.
This is a largely suburban area, with plenty of restaurants and amenities but not a wealth of tourist attractions.
It is just 10 miles from Oklahoma City, and Interstate 35 offers an easy drive into the heart of the city.
Warnings & Dangers in Moore
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Moore, but also not a wealth of things to do in this suburban oasis. With easy access to I-35 and plenty of hotels along the way, it's safe to stay here but not all that exciting to visit.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Moore doesn't have its own public transportation aside from some services for the elderly and physically challenged. Oklahoma City's EMBARK system does have a few routes that go to Moore and even further south to Norman. Taxis and rideshares will be easy to hail in a large metro area like this. Rental cars are widely available at the airport.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
I was a little surprised to see 11 pickpockets in 2022 and an average of six pickpockets or purse snatchings over the past five years. Since there are many shopping areas in this suburb, just keep your purse close and your wallet confined to your front pocket or inside a jacket pocket. The risk is low, but that number is still higher than I've seen in other cities of similar size.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Moore made headlines several times for massive tornados (EF-5s - the largest possible) several times in the past 30 years. If you look up "Moore OK Tornado 2013," you'll see the destruction that carved a path a mile wide. You simply must take tornado risks here seriously, and that means a medium risk. That risk also goes into winter, when ice storms and winter storms can cause travel headaches. Wildfires fueled by Oklahoma's notorious winds are another concern.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robbery rates are down 64% since 2015 and now stand at 75% lower than the national average. The risk is low.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Oklahoma City was the scene of that awful domestic terror attack in 1995. This region will always be considered a medium risk in the aftermath, but it also has some of the best security in the country to prevent another incident. There's no reason to worry about international terrorism in Moore, but mass shootings and domestic terrorism can happen in any community.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here are highly focused on residents since Moore isn't a typical tourist destination. You should always use caution if you're visiting a gas station along the interstate. With so many people coming and going, it's wise to stay aware of your surroundings, lock your car doors even when pumping gas, and always use the closest pump to the convenience store to lower the risk of card skimmers. The risk is low, but staying aware of risks keeps it low.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's nothing in the crime data or recent news reports that suggest there's anything but a low risk. It's likely a more desirable place for mothers bringing children or solo travelers due to the family-oriented nature of the community.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Without going too deep into the details, Moore has faced several years of issues involving arsenic in the water. This material gets into the water through commercial activities. One violation of arsenic was reported in 2022, lasting three months. The well that provided that water was shut down. Then, a court case sprang from a worker at the water treatment facility who was accused of manipulating water tests to make them appear more compliant. I only bring this up in case you want to research it more, but there's no reason to avoid drinking the water. The arsenic in the water can also be removed using water filtration. I don't want to downplay the dangers of arsenic, but it is a challenge statewide, and federal laws are in place to keep dangerous water from getting through to the tap.
Safest Places to Visit in Moore
Moore doesn’t have its own tourism bureau, so you’ll rely on the city website and TravelOK.com website to get information about things to do here.
You can also read our articles about other cities in the region to get a larger look at the landscape.
Keep in mind that Moore is largely a suburb, which means you’ll get fewer tourist attractions and more local events, parks, and businesses.
One unique thing to do in Moore is the Yellow Rose Dinner Theatre.
This 1920s-style theater offers a unique dining experience.
You can enjoy a delicious meal while watching a live performance.
The Museum of Osteology is just outside the city limits.
It’s a museum dedicated to skeletons, from humans to dinosaurs.
With more than 40 exhibits and 800 displays, it’s a great way to learn about the bones of beings on Earth.
The Moore-Lindsay Historical House Museum is technically in Norman, but it’s just a short drive away to learn more about the history of this area.
Guided tours are offered, but hours are somewhat limited – check before you go.
Visit the Parks & Recreation section of the city’s website to get a list of local parks.
There are several of them to choose from, with gardens, walking trails, playgrounds, and sports fields.
Buck Thomas Park is one of the largest at 130 acres.
There’s also a dog park if you’re traveling with pets or (like me) miss your pets when traveling and just want to pet all the dogs.
Places to Avoid in Moore
Moore doesn’t have dangerous neighborhoods or parts of town you’d feel uncomfortable driving through.
However, it’s always safest to stay on main roads and highways to avoid unknown neighborhoods and side streets.
I’ve noticed a lot of chatter online about “Is Moore more prone to tornadoes?” due to the number of major twisters that have hit this area.
There’s no reason to think there’s more of a risk here, but there are plenty of reasons to know tornado safety and take every watch or warning seriously.
Due to the landscape and location of Oklahoma, it’s one of the prime places for massive tornadoes to form.
Some warnings can come with just a few seconds of notice but will usually start with weather advisories and then a tornado watch.
As a storm chaser, in addition to being a journalist, I must share this bit of information – if you are on the highway in a major storm, whether it’s a tornado, blinding rain, large hail, or high winds, DO NOT stop under a highway overpass.
This happens every time it storms.
The risks are many.
First, cars approaching might not see that traffic is stopped and cause an accident.
Second, the overpasses can act as a wind tunnel and make it MORE dangerous there.
You can review the National Weather Service guidance on storm and tornado safety.
If you’re not used to this kind of weather, it should be a top priority during your planning.
You don’t need to be scared. Just be prepared.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Moore
- Moore has its own police department. You can find them on Facebook @moorepolice or call 405-793-5171 with specific safety questions.
- The police department posts an annual report on its website. You can review previous years’ crime rates, traffic incidents, and safety standards to get a better grasp on community safety.
- Sign up for CodeRED emergency notifications through the city’s website. It’s critical that you have several ways to get severe weather alerts. The community has tornado sirens, but those are only meant to be heard outside. If you hear the siren, seek shelter immediately.
- Some major intersections in Moore can get clogged with traffic, which is common in any busy suburb. However, Moore has a problem with blocking intersections while waiting for traffic to move. When the light changes, cars are left in the middle of the intersection, blocking all traffic. Police have been cracking down on this problem and you can get a ticket for this.
- Drinking alcohol and then driving is a serious offense, and Oklahoma cracks down hard on this problem, given how much alcoholism impacts the state. Just one DUI can cost $10k and land you in jail. Global travelers should know that even one DUI incident can also impact your ability to enter Canada, even years later.
- If you have any information about criminal activity, even if it’s just a vague description of a subject you saw, please report it to Crime Stoppers by calling 405-793-5160. You can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a prize.
- Anglers need a license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Out-of-state residents have a specially designated license. You will need a digital copy of this anytime you go fishing. That covers any public body of water in the state.
- If you are traveling on any of the turnpikes in the region or state, you’ll need a PikePass to get through the toll booths. You can sign up for an account online or ask your car rental company if the PikePass comes with the rental.
- Use the OK Traffic map and app to track real-time traffic, construction zones, and weather conditions. Live cameras are also available.
- If you are involved in a traffic accident, a police officer will make a report. That report can be accessed online through the police department’s website. It’s a critical piece of information to give your insurance company. Since you can download it online, you can usually wait until you return home to deal with it.
So... How Safe Is Moore Really?
Most of the crime rates in Moore are below the national and state averages.
The only one that goes slightly above (by 5%) is theft.
Violent crimes are 38% lower than the national average and 42% lower than the state average.
One of the better indicators is that just 7% of violent crimes happen against strangers.
Oklahoma has a big problem with domestic violence, which can make some cities appear more dangerous than they are for visitors.
While thefts aren’t incredibly high, there are some categories to dive into deeper.
In 2018, car thefts averaged one a day.
By 2022, that number was down to two a week.
At the same time, 45% of all thefts were car break-ins or accessory thefts (like catalytic converters).
When a community is relatively safe, people usually let their guards down and leave cars unlocked.
That’s the #1 reason why car break-ins happen – because the opportunity is easily there for thieves.
Simply locking your car and removing personal items every time you park will go a long way to lowering that risk.
There’s likely a good chance that you’ll be traveling outside of Moore across the Oklahoma City metro area.
It’s important to check the crime rate of each area you’ll be visiting, as they can change quickly.
How Does Moore Compare?
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International travelers must have a visa or visa waiver to enter the country. The U.S. State Department website is the source for information on your eligibility for a visa waiver. The Visa Wizard module on their site can also assist in visa determination.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted anywhere in America. You should exchange currency at home to get the lowest fees. The airport in Oklahoma doesn't have foreign currency exchange options.
There's nothing out of the ordinary about what to pack in each season, but temperatures can fluctuate in fall and spring. Packing a jacket or short-sleeved options will be helpful. Winters aren't too cold, and summer can be hot and humid. Bring bug spray if you're going into the wilderness.
Will Rogers World Airport is just 12 miles from Moore, making it an easy option when booking travel. It's also the largest airport in the state.
When booking trips where weather could impact your itinerary, purchasing travel insurance is advised. Confirm you are covered in case of a delay, cancelation, or natural disaster. Also, if you don't have health insurance in the U.S., a supplemental policy will be helpful.
Moore Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oklahoma - Safety by City