|Shown as March 2016|
Emergency Management News
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Monday, February 29, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The WeatherReady Nation (WRN) Ambassador initiative is an NWS effort to formally recognize our partners who are working with us to help improve the readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience of people in our area against all the extreme weather that we experience.
The duties of a WRN Ambassador are pretty much what most of you do anyway - keep in touch with NWS Norman(maintain current point-of-contact and contact information), use NWS-generated information such as preparedness messages, and look for opportunities to work together on local preparedness events.
Any organization across all levels of government, businesses large and small, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and academia can become a WRN Ambassador. Here are just a few examples of potential WeatherReady Nation Ambassadors in our area:
- city/county emergency management
- city/county/state law enforcement
- city/county government
- fire departments and EMS
- hospitals and medical facilities
- insurance agents/companies
- technology centers
- universities and colleges
- K-12 schools or school districts, public or private
- malls, stores, businesses
- TV and radio stations
- Skywarn storm spotter groups
- amateur radio clubs, ARES, RACES
- volunteer organizations, non-profit organizations
- faith-based organizations
- state government agencies
- zoos, amusement parks, recreational centers
- military installations
- electric cooperatives, energy companies
The application process is quick and easy. Here's a link to the application, and here's a link to an FAQ list that will hopefully answer any questions you have about the program.
Thanks for your consideration and let me know if you have any questions!
Rick Smith - Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service - Norman Forecast Office
120 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 2400
Norman, OK 73072
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Portable fuel-burning fireplaces have become a popular way for people to heat their homes during winter months. However, if not used properly, these devices can be dangerous and pose a serious fire hazard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. Learn how to “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.” Before you snuggle up to a portable fireplace, keep these NFPA safety tips in mind:
- Make sure the fireplace has an Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) listing. This ensures the product has been tested for safety;
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely;
- Keep the area where you're using the fireplace well ventilated;
- Do not use the fireplace in sleeping areas; and
- Light the fireplace using a utility lighter or long match.
As with all heating equipment, space is important! Create a “safe zone” around the device by keeping children, pets, and anything that can burn at least three feet away.
To find out more information and protection tips on portable fireplaces, go to the NFPA website.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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:
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Fact Sheet
- Individual and Community Preparedness Division Resources
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Rural Development Rural Utility Services Fact Sheet
- Resources Related to Severe Weather and Flood Hazards Posed by El Niño
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Saturday, February 6, 2016
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.
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.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Rumor has it that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has predicted a terrible storm for February 20.
FEMA does not predict the weather. The National Weather Service office in Norman forecasts the weather for the area.
IF one would want to know what FEMA is saying, subscribe to an email list. It's a daily update for all across the USA. .
Weather Ready Nation folks rely on reliable sources, rather than rumor, to get the facts. Speaking of Weather Ready Nation, the program turned two this week.
Are you a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador?
Important Web sites
- Altus Air Base Weather
- Altus Air Force Base MOU
- Altus Area Google Alerts
- Altus Area Scanner Feed
- Altus EM Calendar
- Altus Skywarn Association
- Altus/Jackson County Emergency Operations Plan (2011)
- Altus/Jackson County Local Emergency Planning Committee
- AltusEM on Paper.LI
- Amber Alerts Oklahoma
- American Red Cross
- Are You Ready?
- Business Blog from SWTC
- City of Altus
- Civil Air Patrol
- Emergency Managers' Contact List
- Google Mail
- National Hazard Mitigation Association
- National Weather Service
- NWS Enhanced Page
- Oklahoma Emergency Management
- Oklahoma Homeland Security
- Oklahoma Ice Map
- Oklahoma State Emergency Operations Plan
- Operation CARE
- Prepare Before Disaster Strikes
- Preparedness Calendar
- Quanah, TX Weather Station
- Radio Reference Scanner Link
- Spotter Network
- Taking Shelter from the Storm