Oklahoma : Safety by City
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Nestled in the rolling hills of western Oklahoma, Weatherford brings travelers a rich history, a vibrant culture, and scenic beauty.
Founded in 1892, the city proudly traces its roots to the Land Run of 1892, when eager homesteaders staked their claims on the fertile plains.
Today, Weatherford exudes a charming blend of old-world charm and modern sensibilities, offering a delightful respite for those seeking a taste of Oklahoma’s authentic spirit.
History buffs will delight in exploring the city’s numerous museums, including the Stafford Air & Space Museum, which houses an impressive collection of aviation artifacts, and the Oklahoma Heartland Museum, which chronicles the state’s rich heritage.
Art enthusiasts will appreciate the vibrant murals that adorn the city’s walls, while outdoor adventurers can enjoy hiking, biking, and fishing in the surrounding countryside.
Weatherford also serves as a gateway to Route 66, the iconic highway that once connected Chicago to Los Angeles.
Visitors can embark on a nostalgic journey along this legendary route, stopping to admire the quirky roadside attractions and soak in the timeless allure of Americana.
Whether you’re seeking a glimpse into Oklahoma’s fascinating past, a taste of its authentic culture, or a rejuvenating escape into nature, Weatherford promises an unforgettable experience.
Warnings & Dangers in Weatherford
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Weatherford has a low risk and enough things to do that you'll stay busy for a day or a weekend. It's also a great place to stop to stretch your legs on a road trip.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You'll need a car to get to Weatherford and then to get around. Taxis and rideshares are found just sparingly, and public transportation isn't available here.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
About 1-2 purse snatchings or pickpockets happen each year. The risk is low, but you can keep it that way by being smart about how much you carry with you and not leaving your items unattended. Always keep a purse zipped up, and wallets are safest in your front pants pocket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This is a medium risk because the weather events here run the gamut. Severe weather season kicks off in spring, and tornadoes are more likely here than in most states. Winter can bring ice storms up to blizzards. The good thing is that all weather issues come with plenty of notice if you're paying attention.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Over the past five years, just 12 robberies were reported. Only one of those was a mugging. The majority happen in private homes. Keep the risk low by staying in well-lit areas at night and avoiding any kind of shady characters on the street.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is a low risk as the town is very remote and has no major attention-drawing targets. You can help keep the risk low by reporting suspicious activity if you see any. Even suspicious activity among truckers at gas stations can help police investigate a potentially larger issue.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of being scammed, but learn the most common scam techniques on the Federal Trade Commission website. Local county websites should have some information too. You might get asked for money at the popular gas stations off the highway. I've driven across this country many times, and it's amazing how many people "ran out of gas with a baby in the car, and they are trying to get to grandma's house before she dies" along these routes. Don't fall for a sob story.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel safe in Weatherford. If you're traveling alone, you should know that there's this weird habit truckers have of honking at women alone in vehicles. It creeped me out the first few times it happened, as I travel alone often. Do not honk bank, wave, or otherwise give any attention to it.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. You should feel safe to use the water for drinking and bathing.
Safest Places to Visit in Weatherford
The city’s website has a tourism section that wonderfully summarizes the things to do here.
You can also check the calendar of events to find local festivals during your visit.
Soar through the cosmos at the Stafford Air & Space Museum, where you’ll witness a captivating collection of aviation artifacts, including the actual Gemini VI spacecraft flown by General Thomas P. Stafford, a moon rock, and a Titan II missile.
This is a Smithsonian affiliate museum, so you know it’s going to be a great experience.
Delve into the rich tapestry of Oklahoma’s past at the Oklahoma Heartland Museum, where exhibits chronicle the state’s history from its Native American heritage to the era of the Land Run.
A replica of the Vietnam War Memorial is also on site.
Step back in time at the Western Oklahoma Historical Center (WOHC), where life-size replicas of frontier buildings and artifacts bring the Wild West to life.
Harness the power of the wind at the Wind Energy Center, where you’ll learn about the science behind wind turbines and witness these majestic structures up close.
This experience is a great way to see how all those wind turbines you drove by on the interstate are powered.
To get a taste of old Route 66, visit JC Cowboys, which serves up steaks and snacks with live music many nights.
Then head to Heritage Park, where many Route 66 treasures await.
Places to Avoid in Weatherford
You don’t need to worry about bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods in Weatherford.
The city is small, safe, and welcoming.
If you’re just driving through and stopping for gas or food, I always recommend finding a gas station that isn’t right off the main highway.
With so much transient traffic, there’s a greater chance someone might try to seize a crime of opportunity.
To that end, never leave your car unlocked, even when pumping gas.
Find the closest pump to the entrance to the gas station.
That will be the spot least likely to have a card skimmer.
One major thing to avoid while researching this town involves another Weatherford.
A city with the same name is in Texas, and it pops up in most search results before Oklahoma’s Weatherford.
To be sure, look for the 580 area code, as that’s the only one you’ll find in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Weatherford
- Weatherford has its own police department. You can call them at (580)772-7791 or email Weatherford.Police@weatherfordpd.org to ask specific questions.
- Sign up for alerts from Custer County Emergency Management. This will include severe weather alerts, road closures, public safety threats, and shelter-in-place orders. You can subscribe for free and choose if you want phone calls, texts, or emails.
- All city safety information will come from the Facebook page @cityofweatherford. From what I can tell, the police department and city both use the page to notify residents and visitors of any issues. It’s also a great way to find out about local events.
- Anglers are required to have a license on them at all times during a fishing activity. The license is for sale on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website. Please choose the non-resident license. If you want to hunt while you’re here, there are tight restrictions and safety education required.
- OK Traffic is the website used to track road conditions, construction zones, and real-time traffic in the state. You can even view live cameras of different locations to see what the road ahead of you looks like.
- It is illegal to text while driving in Oklahoma. If you’re relying on GPS or your phone to give directions, please make sure it’s in a hand-free holder and can be activated under voice control. Otherwise, you should pull over to touch a device. The first fine is $100 for distracted driving.
- Oklahoma has more casinos than you might realize, and that can cause problems with impulse control. If you find you are having a hard time stopping, Oklahoma has a Problem Gambling Hotline accessible at 1-800-GAMBLER. The website also has a chat service where you can talk to someone immediately. It’s best to set a limit and don’t go over it. Also, the casinos will have much higher ATM fees than banks.
- Weatherford is a city that promotes recycling, and you can drop off your trash and recyclable items at several locations throughout town. Look at the Environmental section of the city’s website for those locations.
- This part of Oklahoma can have high winds throughout the year. Winds can be strong enough to make it hard to keep your car under control. Since you’ll be sharing the highways with semi-trucks, please always use extra caution during wind advisories. Leave your windows rolled up and secure all items outside the vehicle, especially if you are carrying luggage on top of the car.
- The city’s website has a Community Safety Guide. This is a great resource for first-time visitors to learn about the best practices for crime prevention.
So... How Safe Is Weatherford Really?
Weatherford is a safe city with violent crime rates only a fraction of the national and state averages.
While the average Oklahoma city has 419 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Weatherford has just 74 per 100,000 people.
At the same time, with just 12,000 residents, Weatherford generally has 10 or fewer violent crimes each year.
Over the past five years, not a single violent crime was against a stranger.
That makes tourists all the more safe in this charming small town.
The theft rate is almost 30% lower than the national average.
In addition, 41% of thefts are related to shoplifting.
Another 30% are car break-ins or accessory thefts.
You can greatly lower that risk by locking your car and removing personal items every time you park.
Several big drug busts have happened in Weatherford, showing that the drug problems in the United States can spread to even safe, small, rural towns.
As long as you avoid taking any medication from people, even if it looks like legit pharmacy drugs, you shouldn’t even notice this issue.
Your safety in the severe weather risks is largely dependent on how prepared you are and how much you stay on top of the weather developments.
Always err on the side of caution.
How Does Weatherford Compare?
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International travelers must obtain either a visa or a visa waiver to get into the country. You can check your eligibility for a visa waiver by visiting the U.S. State Department website. A valid passport that isn't within six months of expiring is also needed.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted. The OKC airport doesn't have a foreign currency exchange. Your local bank will have the lowest rates. Most ATMs can dispense cash in USD, but please check ahead of time if you have the right symbols on your card to do so. Credit cards are widely accepted.
You'll want to dress appropriately for the season, as Oklahoma gets a robust version of each one. Bring a winter coat and accessories from November through March, but there's a good chance you won't need them every day. Summers are hot and humid. Bring bug spray and sunscreen.
Will Rogers World Airport is just one hour east of El Reno. That time should hold since it's located west of the airport, and there isn't major congestion on roads to get there most of the time. It's a pretty direct route from Weatherford to the airport.
If traveling anywhere that weather could interfere with your agenda, travel insurance is highly recommended. Supplemental medical insurance should be considered if you don't have coverage in the States. Check rental car coverage for roadside assistance, accident coverage, and weather damage.
Weatherford Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oklahoma - Safety by City