Emergency Management News

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How will El Nino impact you? #ELNino #ClimateChange #WRN

The United States experiences extreme and dangerous weather, and this winter, parts of the U.S. face a particularly severe threat. Forecasts are showing a soon-to-peak El Niño that could deliver drenching conditions to California and throughout the South. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed fact sheets on El Niño available at NOAA El Niño Impacts by region and the Winter Outlook is available at NOAA El Niño Winter Outlook. These predicted conditions come with an enhanced flood threat and an increase in tornado activity through the spring.

For the next several months, many areas in the United States are at an increased flood risk from El Niño as a direct result of drought and wildfires. Disasters don’t always occur when families are together in one place. Now is the time to put together a family communication plan and talk with your family about ways to contact each other during an emergency, and designate a safe meeting spot. You can also plan ahead by knowing official evacuation routes, and keeping important papers in a safe, waterproof place. Additional tips and resources on how to stay safe and prepare are available at www.ready.gov.

More information is available about El Niño at www.fema.gov/el-Niño. The tab labeled Additional Resourcesinclude links to resources from various federal agencies including NOAA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Here are some key federal agency links:
 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Winter Weather Mistakes to Avoid #OKwx #AltusOK #WRN

You may have to take extra precautions to keep your family safe or to prevent property damage. The Weather Channel highlights 22 things to avoid as you prepare for winter, including:

  • Failing to Clean the Gutters Before Freezing Weather Arrives.Cleaning gutters is important when protecting and preparing your home for the winter months. Gutters help keep icicles from forming along the roofline. Icicles may damage shingles, which can cause water to leak into your home. 
  • Going to Bed Before Heating Sources Have Cooled. Before you go to bed or leave the house, ensure that space heaters have cooled and are powered off.  If you have built a fire in the fireplace, be sure that the embers are no longer burning.
  • Forgetting to Develop a Fire Escape Plan.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the risk of home fires increases with the use of alternative heating sources, so it's important to develop and rehearse an escape plan.
To see the full list of winter weather don’ts, visit the Weather Channel website.

Weather Safety from @NWSNorman coming to #AltusOK #Skywarn #WRN

The National Weather Service Office in Norman is presenting Skywarn information to area residents February 9 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the City of Altus City Hall, according to area emergency management officials.

The training is free.  The public is encouraged to attend, according to Steve Grayson, KE5BPL, the Altus Skywarn Association president.

"This is NOT a storm chaser program," said Wayne Cain, Jackson County Emergency Management director.  "This is information for the public to learn what to report, how to report it, and to whom to report it."

To volunteer as a “community storm spotter” area residents should visit http://bit.ly/1QxDhF9 to obtain additional information, according to Lloyd Colston, City of Altus Emergency Management director.

For more information about the Norman Office, http://weather.gov/norman is the link while http://altusem.blogspot.com is the link for local emergency management information.

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