Leslie Chapman-Henderson rejected "chatter" suggesting that no above-ground shelters could have withstood Monday's winds.
"We don't know that; that hasn't been determined," said Chapman-Henderson, the president and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Inc.
"We're concerned it's going to set the cause of tornado safety back decades if we can't get fact-based conversations rolling forward," Chapman-Henderson said.
She expressed confidence that Oklahomans will learn from Monday's events. "I hear a very diverse voice converging on one message: that this time, we have got to do this differently."
As the debate continues over whether to invest in storm shelters, here are a few tips that experts say everyone should follow:
-- Don't ignore those warnings
There's a saying in Oklahoma: If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. The skies can change fast and that makes it hard for weather forecasters to predict the weather.
But whether you're in Oklahoma or anywhere else, don't dismiss tornado watches and warnings just because the forecaster got last week's predictions wrong.
And don't fall victim to thinking a tornado can't happen in your neighborhood.
"Time and fading memories are the worst enemies," said Chapman-Henderson. "People think it can't happen twice, but in the case of Moore, Oklahoma, the tragedy here is this is the third strike -- 1999 to 2003."
Tornadoes can sometimes form so quickly that little, if any, warning is possible, according to FEMA.
-- Grab a helmet
As Monday's tornado approached, football players at Southmoore High School were getting ready for practice. The coach rounded up the players and ordered them to put on their helmets, he told Fox Sports Southwest
The tornado just missed the school.
It's an important lesson: Protect your head. A 200 mph gust of wind can turn a stick into a lethal weapon, something even a $10 bicycle helmet might protect against.
-- Work with what you've got
There's a good chance that if a tornado approaches, you might not be near a storm shelter or a basement or your emergency kit, so it's important to use what you have at the time of the impact to increase your survival chances.
Emergency room doctors at Moore Medical Center pulled mattresses and blankets off hospital gurneys and used them to cover themselves and their patients as the tornado approached.
Those simple items might have saved lives as the tornado wiped out the hospital's second floor.
Workers and customers at a credit union got inside the bank vault, which proved to be the only thing standing after the tornado reduced the rest of the building to rubble.
Teachers and parents lay on top of kids at Briarwood Elementary, using their bodies to shield the children from debris as they rode out the storm.
The tornado wiped out the school and many sustained serious injuries, but everyone survived.