Emergency Management News

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August #AltusOK weather data from @OKmesonet

Shown as August 2013
Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Aug record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
Aug. Averages
High Temp97 F
Low Temp70 F
Avg Temp83 F
1T Avgs: 98/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T108* (1966)
Low T58* (1925)
Precip1.27 (1977)
2T Avgs: 98/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T114 (1944)
Low T55 (1936)
Precip3.74 (1995)
3T Avgs: 98/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T118 (1943)
Low T60* (1936)
Precip1.89 (1993)
4T Avgs: 98/71
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T116 (1943)
Low T61* (1915)
Precip1.20 (1925)
5T Avgs: 98/71
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T112 (1962)
Low T58 (1948)
Precip1.57 (1920)
6T Avgs: 99/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T112 (1962)
Low T58 (1936)
Precip1.24 (1942)
7T Avgs: 98/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T110* (1962)
Low T60 (1997)
Precip1.63 (1966)
8T Avgs: 98/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T110 (1962)
Low T54 (1989)
Precip0.98 (1942)
9T Avgs: 97/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T112 (1943)
Low T56 (1989)
Precip2.42 (1972)
10T Avgs: 97/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T115 (1936)
Low T62* (1974)
Precip3.22 (1974)
11T Avgs: 96/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T116 (1936)
Low T60 (1915)
Precip2.47 (1997)
12T Avgs: 96/69
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T120 (1936)
Low T56 (1979)
Precip1.26 (1924)
13T Avgs: 97/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T115 (1936)
Low T54 (1967)
Precip3.31 (1968)
14T Avgs: 96/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T110 (1930)
Low T58 (2002)
Precip1.04 (1926)
15T Avgs: 96/69
Sig Prcp Freq: 17%
High T110 (1952)
Low T58 (1992)
Precip2.70 (1926)
16T Avgs: 96/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T110 (1943)
Low T57* (1992)
Precip0.72 (1996)
17T Avgs: 96/70
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T108 (1951)
Low T59 (1948)
Precip1.73 (1944)
18T Avgs: 96/69
Sig Prcp Freq: 19%
High T109 (1945)
Low T55 (1943)
Precip2.08 (1920)
19T Avgs: 95/69
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T108 (1930)
Low T58 (1948)
Precip3.75 (1990)
20T Avgs: 96/69
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T108 (1943)
Low T55 (1992)
Precip1.55 (1937)
21T Avgs: 96/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T108 (1984)
Low T55 (1956)
Precip0.92 (1941)
22T Avgs: 95/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T108 (1930)
Low T58 (1956)
Precip1.47 (1923)
23T Avgs: 95/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T110 (1936)
Low T56* (1920)
Precip0.98 (1937)
24T Avgs: 95/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T110 (1936)
Low T54* (1961)
Precip2.30 (1966)
25T Avgs: 95/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T110 (1936)
Low T53 (1945)
Precip0.56 (1996)
26T Avgs: 95/67
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T107* (1943)
Low T54* (1928)
Precip3.50 (1992)
27T Avgs: 94/68
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T108* (1943)
Low T55 (1962)
Precip4.44 (1979)
28T Avgs: 94/67
Sig Prcp Freq: 17%
High T106 (1982)
Low T56 (1992)
Precip1.38 (1914)
29T Avgs: 93/67
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T109 (1943)
Low T50 (1917)
Precip1.63 (1960)
30T Avgs: 94/67
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T108 (1943)
Low T51* (1915)
Precip1.84 (1924)
31T Avgs: 93/67
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T108 (1952)
Low T49 (1915)
Precip2.40 (1986)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Disaster Resilience and People with Functional Needs

When Hurricane Sandy pummeled the northeast and mid-Atlantic states in October, uprooting trees and causing massive flooding, at least three large hospitals were forced to evacuate after emergency generators failed. Governors of 10 states declared emergencies and requested federal aid. As in the super derecho that swept through the Midwest and mid-Atlantic 4 months earlier, millions of residents were left without power.

One alarming consequence of these storms was their effect on residents with functional needs — those who are dependent on home nursing, personal care attendants, or electric medical technologies. Some residents depend on the electrical grid for refrigerating critical medications or for powering lifesaving medical equipment. Many residents, particularly those requiring ongoing respiratory care, streamed into emergency rooms to receive respiratory treatments, refill oxygen tanks, or recharge batteries. Some residents whose medical needs had not escalated but who needed to recharge medical equipment were turned away from shelters whose operators believed their needs could not be met in a general shelter.

Through initiatives launched under the Affordable Care Act, our health care system will increasingly enable the 54.4 million Americans with functional needs to remain in their homes and social environments.1 Experts in disaster preparedness highlight the need to build community disaster resilience and reduce long-term vulnerability.2 They also emphasize that having strong systems in place for day-to-day use is essential for dealing with emergency situations.3 With or without a major emergency, the ability of people with functional needs to remain in their community setting depends on a stable electrical grid and a resilient system of service agencies, such as home health and hospice care agencies, personal care assistants, and suppliers of medical equipment. Numerous reports highlight the vulnerability of our physical and social infrastructure4,5; some key policies can help to strengthen them.

The first strategy for building community resilience for people with functional needs is to continue to support the development of health information systems. For example, in 2011, using incentive payments authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, converted to electronic health records. Three weeks later, a tornado severely damaged the hospital and forced it to evacuate. Yet dispersed patients continued to obtain prescriptions and receive scheduled treatments because their electronic health records remained accessible.

Residents with functional needs also have frequent engagement with nursing homes, independent living facilities, home health agencies, and suppliers of durable medical equipment, many of which continue to rely on paper medical records and forms. Supporting the development of interoperable electronic records for use among these agencies will not only allow them to obtain critical information in the event of a power outage, but also enhance routine coordination of care for people with functional needs.

Like smart phones and tablets, which have revolutionized the way people with disabilities communicate, new technologies can also substantially enhance quality of life for residents with functional needs, and they can be lifesaving in the event of a disaster, particularly for residents who cannot easily be moved. Through "innovation challenges" — which can leverage open innovation and the public's broad knowledge to solve a defined problem — public and private organizations can support the development of technologies that contribute to resilience. Such technologies might include alternative power sources (e.g., manual cranks or batteries powered by human waste) for critical medical equipment, safer home generators, and signaling devices enabled by global positioning systems, which can let medical-equipment suppliers or emergency responders know when critical medical supplies or battery backups are running low.

Supporting the development of technologies that enhance social connectedness, which has been shown to improve survival during disasters, can also contribute to community resilience. One such effort is the Lifeline Facebook Application Challenge, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of the Department of Health and Human Services, which leverages social media by asking friends to check in on each other and provide assistance in the event of a disaster, formalizing these roles and responsibilities through a Facebook app.

Another way federal, state, and local municipalities can build community resilience is to invite residents with functional needs to participate in the process of emergency preparedness and response planning and to view such residents as community assets rather than vulnerable populations or liabilities. San Francisco, for example, regularly partners with its Centers for Independent Living on planning for emergencies. The centers were created by people with disabilities and normally provide information and referral services, peer counseling, and training in skills for independent living. The city also integrated a position for a disability services coordinator into the structure of its Incident Command System, a tool for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response used by nearly all disaster-response agencies. The coordinator's role is to assess whether residents' functional needs are being met and to draw on the expertise and resources of the city's large Human Services Agency and its multiple community partners through activation of memorandums of understanding.

Central to building community resilience is the development of strong partnerships between government and nongovernmental organizations for planning, response, and recovery. Many states have established partnerships between emergency management teams and businesses to improve situational awareness and resource sharing. California has passed legislation requiring the inclusion of private businesses in governmental disaster planning and has signed memorandums of understanding with organizations such as the California Grocers Association, the California Utilities Emergency Association, and Walmart to provide critical supplies and infrastructure during an emergency. The American Red Cross of New England partners with Unitil, a regional provider of natural gas and electricity, to issue joint messages about safety and preparedness. Such partnerships could be expanded to include providers of services for people with functional needs. By sharing data, states could use these partnerships to share and jointly maintain registries of people with functional needs, in order to help in setting priorities for emergency response and power-restoration efforts. Such data sharing may not only enhance the ability of emergency managers to provide critical supplies and services during emergencies, but also help to improve more routine coordination of the multiple services for these residents.

Finally, there are policies that states and the federal government could implement to promote community resilience with regard to people with functional needs. For example, government could promote more widespread adoption of both business-continuity plans for critical agencies and data sharing among agencies and emergency management and utility companies by including related provisions in both federal grant guidelines and publicly reported quality measures. States could use their licensure and certification processes to promote more widespread adoption of reliable emergency power sources by dialysis centers and acute and long-term care facilities. Maintenance of emergency generators and related equipment could also be included as part of public-reporting and quality measures for hospitals and nursing homes. Some states have such requirements now — Maryland and Texas, for instance, require that dialysis centers have access to an emergency generator.

As more and more people with functional needs remain in their homes and other noninstitutional settings, the strategic development of technologies and policies that decrease our dependence on traditional power sources and enhance information sharing and inclusionary planning will help improve community resilience.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Is Extreme Heat something you are planning around?

Extreme heat can be very dangerous, leading to heat stroke and death. Heat stroke occurs when your temperature rises quickly and your body cannot cool down. This condition is life-threatening, but it is preventable.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness
  • Stay in air-conditioned space if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to a public library, heat-relief shelter, or other cool location.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids (check with your doctor if you are usually supposed to limit your fluids).
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Cut back on exercise. 
  • Closely watch those who are at high risk of heat-related illness, including older adults, young children, and individuals with physical and/or mental illnesses. 
  • NEVER leave anyone in an enclosed, parked vehicle.

If you believe that you or someone else may be suffering from heat stroke or another heat-related illness, get help right away. It could be a life or death emergency.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another Warning method

WeatherCall offers a telephone call when severe weather strikes the area.  Notifications are limited to severe weather products only but will come to your email, text, and phone.

Below, one can read the Google Voice transcription of the warning.  For the hearing impaired, getting the service on Google Voice might be another way to get warnings.

The firm has a YouTube Video.

There is no relationship from Altus Emergency Management to this firm.  However, a few of the members have evaluated the service.

+18664799906 (866) 479-9906
4/30/12 11:11 PM
A severe thunderstorm warning for your immediate area, severe thunderstorms can produce damaging winds dangerous lightning large hail and very happy rain, which can cause localized flooding. If you must drive your car during the storm did not attempt to cross a roadway covered with water.  Repeating you are in the specific area of a severe thunderstorm warning.  Turn on local media, for more detailed information. If you would like to hear this message again, please press one otherwise hang up. If you would like to hear this message again. Please press one otherwise hang up.

Play message
Google Voice Don't have a Google Voice account? Find out more on www.google.com/voice.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yarnell Hill Donation Effort #OKfire

We received this information today and believe it to be of great importance and interest to many in Oklahoma's Fire Service and to our Friends.
"I'm sure you are all aware of the tragic deaths of 19 firefighters in Yarnell, Arizona.  The Arizona Local Assistance State Team (LAST) was deployed last night.  John Proels, the national coordinator for LAST, left for Arizona this morning.  Chief Compton has been involved since he is in Arizona and Chief Siarnicki has been conducting television and radio interviews."
A donation page has been set up with the link  http://www.regonline.com/yarnellhill. The link can also be accessed from www.FireHero.org.
We would appreciate if you share the attached press release with your membership and post it to your website.

Thank you,
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Barbara King, Assistant to the Executive Director
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
2130 Priest Bridge Dr., Suite 6, Crofton, MD  21114
410.721.1548; fax 410.721.621t

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wilderness Search and Rescue #OKfire

This 2 day course is designed to provide students with some basic tools and skills to assist with a lost persons incident. Participants will learn to recognize the need for wilderness search and rescue, properly assess the situation, identify resources needed, and recognize the general hazards with wilderness search and rescue incidents.  Proper equipment selection and basic land navigation will conclude this course. 
Course Content Includes:
Lost Person Behavior
Survival and Safety
Clothing for SAR Responders
Search and Rescue Ready Pack
Search Tactics
Target Audience:
          Fire and Rescue Personnel
            EMS Personnel
            Law Enforcement
            Emergency Management
Course Hours: 16 hours
CEUs: EMS – 12 hours
CLEET – 16 hours
Principal Developers:    Randy Janoe
Fire Chief
Antlers Fire Department
Nick Conner
Park Manager
Osage Hills State Park
For additional information or to schedule a class,
call Jason Louthan, Rescue Programs Coordinator