Emergency Management News

Friday, January 27, 2012

What are the Fire Conditions?

Please be aware of Fire Weather conditions.

Relative Humidity from Oklahoma MesoNet

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oklahoma Earthquakes


Nine states across the central U.S. will participate in The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10:15 a.m. CST.  This second annual central U.S. ShakeOut is a public earthquake drill organized and coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.  FEMA is encouraging everyone across the central United States to participate in the event, including schools, businesses, governments and other organizations.

“Everyone has a role in disaster preparedness, and drills like this one offer a valuable opportunity for all levels of government, non-profit and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and the public to put their preparedness plans into action,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “Participating in this drill, putting together a disaster preparedness plan and building a kit are simple steps that everyone can take.”

You only have seconds to react to an earthquake, so it’s important to know what to do when the grounds starts shaking.  On Feb. 7, you can practice the following:

• DROP to the ground,
• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
• HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

The drill will start at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7, when the National Weather Service sends a tone-alert to the NOAA Weather Radio, and the radio will tell those listening to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” 

Devastating earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile, are powerful evidence of how destructive natural disasters can be, and that they can strike without any warning.  Scientists estimate the probability of a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake occurring along the New Madrid Seismic Zone within any 50 year period is 25-40 percent.  It is as important as ever to strengthen our nation’s disaster resilience across the country, and the ShakeOut is a great opportunity to do so.

Anyone who has not already joined us, is encouraged to register for the ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org/centralus.  The ShakeOut is free, open to the general public, and anyone can get more information or register to participate by visiting www.shakeout.org/centralus

For more information on earthquake preparedness tips, visit www.ready.gov.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

2011 Tornado Deaths

With 2011 gone and 2012 before us, please take some time to review what happened across the USA this year in tornado deaths.

Can we say that Oklahoma faired better than the rest of the States with only 14 tornado deaths?  Texas and New Mexico recorded NO tornado deaths.

2011 closed out the books as the second deadliest year on record.  How will 2012 fair?

It will fair much better if residents will take the time now to plan.  How will you get a tornado warning?  Weather radio still remains a good option.  Cell phone and pager alerts are becoming more popular.

Residents will fair better if they have a plan.  Where will you go for severe weather?  Does your school have a plan?  What about your day care home or center?  Does your work have a plan?

Residents will fair better if they have a kit to support the plan.  How will you communicate with your loved ones that you are safe?  If you have to evacuate, where will you go?  Do you have your numbers for your insurance company?

Please plan now what you will do before tornado season 2012 starts.  WHAT?  There's not a month that there has not had a tornado in Altus?  Plan now then.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Railroad Collision Investigation training

Operation Lifesaver Railroad Collission Investigation Class is being offered in Jackson County.  Seating is limited.  

CLEET hours are available for Law Enforcement personnel.

It's critical that when highway-rail intersection collisions do occur, law enforcement officers--often the first responders--are familiar with both railroad operations and highway-rail grade crossing conditions. Operation Lifesaver offers a special course teaching officers how to ensure their personal safety, both while responding to rail collision incidents and throughout the investigation.
If your community contains railroad tracks, your officers could be involved in a specialized highway-rail grade crossing collision investigation. Operation Lifesaver's Grade Crossing Collision Investigation (GCCI) course is designed to inform and prepare your department for that eventuality. Our GCCI training was developed for the North American law enforcement community with cooperation from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

What are the Fire Conditions in #AltusOK today?

Please be aware of Fire Weather conditions.

Relative Humidity from Oklahoma MesoNet

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What is the Wind Chill Index

With winter comes cold and, in Oklahoma, it stays windy.

Our friends at the National Weather Service have a page to explain wind chill and help you determine what it is for you.

They also join FEMA and the American Red Cross is giving cold weather tips.

Prepare now for the next winter event. It may be close.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Generator Safety

When there are power outages, there's often a generator that's being placed in service to help minimize the inconvenience.

Our friends at the US Fire Administration would like you to know:

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from improper use of portable generators.

To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards:

  • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.

To Avoid Electrical Hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
  • If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.

To Avoid Fire Hazards:

  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.
Information for this fact sheet was provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.The folks over at Prepared Society have been discussing this issue for a while.