Emergency Management News

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

National Arson Awareness Week to recognize accelerant detection canine teams #OKfire

National Arson Awareness Week is May 3-9. This year’s theme – Accelerant Detection Canines: Sniffing Out Arson – recognizes the contributions made to communities by accelerant detection canine (ADC) teams.

The U.S. Fire Administration and our partners have gathered information about these motivated, accelerant detection animals that demonstrates their value to a community and how using an ADC can close more cases and act as an arson deterrent. Our information includes:
  • Facts about ADCs. (Did you know that an ADC has a sense of smell that is 100,000 times more acute than a human’s?)
  • History and training of ADCs.
  • How to acquire an ADC.
  • Short stories about 10 canine teams in America that are making a difference in the prevention of arson.
  • A downloadable National Arson Awareness Week poster.
This information is now available on our website at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Springtime Flooding #OKdrought #AltusOK

With spring comes the expectation of warmer weather and longer days. But it may also bring heavy rains and rapid snowmelt that can increase your risk for one of the most common disasters in the United States – floods. Properly preparing for this hazard can keep your family safe, minimize potential damage and speed up recovery efforts.
While everyone is at risk for flooding, many remain financially unprotected. One of the best ways to protect your home is by purchasing flood insurance because flood losses are not typically covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. Keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period before flood coverage takes effect, so the time to purchase is now!
In addition to flood insurance, follow these steps to safeguard your home and possessions:
  • Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions, and keep it in a secure place such as a waterproof container or safe deposit box;
  • Keep a written and visual record of all major household items and valuables;
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if you live in an area that has a high flood risk; and
  • Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up in the drains of your home.
No matter the source, a flood does not have to be a catastrophic event to be costly. Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Check out this interactive Cost of Flooding tool from FloodSmart.gov to measure the financial impact a flood could have on your home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Food Safety During Blackouts

Loss of power can jeopardize the safety of the food stored in your home refrigerator or freezer. In the event of a blackout, do you know how to determine if your food is safe to eat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers tips to minimize the potential loss of food and lower the risk of foodborne illness.
Before a blackout:
  • Gather an emergency supply of shelf-stable food, packaged foods, boxed or canned milk, bottle water, and canned goods;
  • Have coolers and frozen gel packs on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power goes out longer than four hours; and
  • Keep freezer items close together—this helps the food stay cold longer.
Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA instructs setting your refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the power is out for less than four hours and the refrigerator door is kept closed, your food should be safe.
Following a blackout:
  • Discard any perishable food items such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more;
  • Use a food thermometer to test the temperature of food – never taste it!  You can’t rely on appearance and odor to determine whether food is safe; and
  • Discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat, seafood, or poultry juices.
Power outages can occur anywhere at any time of the year. Make sure you and your family are prepared and know what to do to avoid getting sick.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ready to Go Off Grid

Due to the recent winter storms several communities across the county have experienced dangerous utility outages. Beyond the initial inconvenience, loss of electricity, gas or water can be life threatening. It is critical to know how you and your family can prepare and stay safe in the event of a utility outage.
Use FEMA’s free, online activity module, “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages,” to reference simple steps to get prepared for an outage. Some utility outage checklist items include:
  • Document important phone numbers and vital power company information;
  • Locate and label your utility shutoffs; and
  • Have your disaster kit ready and stocked.
The “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages” activity module is part of FEMA’s “Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere” tools, which educate individuals about easy ways to become prepared for all types of hazards. The tools are designed for anyone to use in coordination with local emergency preparedness partners to help better prepare for emergencies.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting set in #AltusOK

Members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee are set to meet at noon April 8 at 1204 E Tamarack.

Items on the agenda include the review of the Committee bylaws, information about the Oklahoma 63rd Civil Support Team, and an update regarding the drought.

The meeting is a public meeting of responders and community supporters.  

For more information about the Committee, Citizens may contact Lloyd Colston, Altus Emergency Management Director and LEPC Information Officer at 5804812260.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wildfire Community Chat set #AltusOK #OKfire

Participate in next week’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Twitter Chat Tuesday, April 7 at 2pm EDT.  Using the hashtag #WildfirePrepDay the sixty-minute format will focus on projects that can be coordinated for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Saturday, May 2 and America’s PrepareAthon Thursday, April 30.  The conversation will provide information on mitigation, communication and evacuation.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about Wildfire Preparedness Day and America’s PrepareAthon projects and the available resources and ideas. Special guest participants include:
·         U.S. Fire Administration:  Phyllis Krietz, Fire Program Specialist, United States Fire Administration
·         America’s PrepareAthon:  Allison Carlock, Individual and Community Preparedness Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA
·         U.S. Forest Service:  Pam Leschak, National WUI/FAC Program Manager
·         Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS):  Brent Henzi, Public Affairs Manager
Post these promotional tweets and get your stakeholders involved too:
·         Participate in the #WildfirePrepDay Twitter Chat – 4/7 at 2pm EDT and learn how you can accomplish something great!
·         Find your role in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day – People.Projects.Purpose. #WildfirePrepDay Twitter Chat 4/7 at 2PM EDT.
·         Learn how to make communities more wildfire resilient – #WildfirePrepDay Twitter Chat, 4/7 at 2pm EDT.
·         Be a local preparedness champion – plan a Wildfire Prep Day activity. Learn more in the #WildfirePrepDay Twitter Chat 4/7 at 2pm EDT.
·         Reduce your community’s wildfire risk with a PrepDay project.  Get mentored in the 4/7 #WildfirePrepDay Twitter Chat at 2pm EDT.   

Demonstrate your commitment to wildfire preparedness by adding your May 2 activities to the nationwide project map.  It’s easy to do and illustrates the magnitude of grassroots risk reduction projects occurring throughout the U.S.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Weather Data for #AltusOK from @OKmesonet

Shown as April 2015
Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Apr record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
Apr. Averages
High Temp77 F
Low Temp48 F
Avg Temp62 F
1T Avgs: 73/42
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T98 (1946)
Low T27* (1948)
Precip0.98 (2000)
2T Avgs: 74/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T91 (1913)
Low T22 (1936)
Precip1.13 (1919)
3T Avgs: 74/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T97 (1950)
Low T23* (1936)
Precip1.22 (1957)
4T Avgs: 73/43
Sig Prcp Freq: 3%
High T95 (1943)
Low T26 (1920)
Precip0.66 (1997)
5T Avgs: 73/43
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T94 (1954)
Low T26* (1920)
Precip1.51 (1921)
6T Avgs: 73/43
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T99 (1954)
Low T23 (1971)
Precip0.71 (1940)
Snowtrace (1939)
7T Avgs: 75/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T96 (1972)
Low T23 (2009)
Precip1.12 (1915)
8T Avgs: 72/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T99 (1963)
Low T25 (1938)
Precip1.50 (1942)
Snow6.0 (1938)
9T Avgs: 73/43
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T93 (1963)
Low T24 (2003)
Precip1.45 (1942)
10T Avgs: 74/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T98 (1963)
Low T26 (1973)
Precip2.14 (2008)
11T Avgs: 74/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T99 (1972)
Low T27 (1989)
Precip2.22 (1994)
12T Avgs: 74/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T105 (1972)
Low T26* (1940)
Precip0.96 (1967)
Snowtrace (1940)
13T Avgs: 74/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 18%
High T98 (1936)
Low T25 (1957)
Precip0.60 (1973)
14T Avgs: 77/47
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T96 (1936)
Low T29 (1980)
Precip2.26 (1916)
15T Avgs: 78/47
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T100 (2006)
Low T27* (1928)
Precip1.96 (1945)
16T Avgs: 78/48
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T98 (1913)
Low T34 (1945)
Precip1.50 (1976)
17T Avgs: 79/49
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T101* (1955)
Low T28 (1921)
Precip2.34 (1995)
18T Avgs: 78/50
Sig Prcp Freq: 18%
High T101 (1925)
Low T31 (1921)
Precip2.20 (1917)
19T Avgs: 78/50
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T95 (1987)
Low T32* (1939)
Precip1.91 (2003)
20T Avgs: 78/49
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T99 (1925)
Low T32 (1953)
Precip1.61 (1952)
21T Avgs: 78/50
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T97* (1925)
Low T34 (1918)
Precip1.82 (1957)
22T Avgs: 79/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T98 (1955)
Low T31 (1931)
Precip1.68 (1952)
23T Avgs: 79/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T101 (1989)
Low T34 (1996)
Precip1.05 (1957)
24T Avgs: 79/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T98 (1996)
Low T34 (1968)
Precip2.14 (1925)
25T Avgs: 79/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T96* (1967)
Low T39 (1995)
Precip1.93 (1997)
26T Avgs: 78/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T95* (1956)
Low T38 (1945)
Precip1.63 (1928)
27T Avgs: 79/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T96 (1955)
Low T35 (1920)
Precip1.50 (1985)
28T Avgs: 77/50
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T94 (1927)
Low T36 (2008)
Precip2.30 (1940)
29T Avgs: 77/53
Sig Prcp Freq: 20%
High T98 (1936)
Low T39 (1968)
Precip4.06 (2009)
30T Avgs: 79/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 21%
High T95 (1947)
Low T36* (1984)
Precip1.35 (1974)