Emergency Management News

Saturday, October 29, 2016

November Climate Data from @OKmesonet for #AltusOK

Shown as November 2016
Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Nov record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
1T Avgs: 70/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T91 (2001)
Low T26 (1991)
Precip2.25 (1928)
2T Avgs: 69/43
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T88 (1924)
Low T19 (1966)
Precip1.77 (1961)
Snow0.2 (1951)
3T Avgs: 67/42
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T91 (2005)
Low T16 (1991)
Precip1.24 (2004)
4T Avgs: 68/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T91 (2005)
Low T20 (1936)
Precip1.60 (1990)
5T Avgs: 68/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T91 (1924)
Low T25 (1939)
Precip1.20 (1964)
6T Avgs: 68/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T91 (1945)
Low T20* (1959)
Precip0.60 (1983)
Snow1.5 (1938)
7T Avgs: 68/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T90 (1980)
Low T22 (1993)
Precip1.47 (1920)
Snow1.5 (2000)
8T Avgs: 67/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T88 (2005)
Low T21 (1991)
Precip0.85 (1916)
Snow0.3 (2000)
9T Avgs: 67/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T90 (1988)
Low T25 (1955)
Precip1.07 (1919)
10T Avgs: 66/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 4%
High T87 (1995)
Low T23 (1950)
Precip1.00 (1929)
11T Avgs: 66/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 3%
High T83* (1949)
Low T13 (1950)
Precip0.27 (1923)
12T Avgs: 66/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T84* (1938)
Low T22 (1919)
Precip0.48 (1922)
13T Avgs: 66/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T85 (1967)
Low T15 (1940)
Precip0.64 (2010)
Snow3.0 (1976)
14T Avgs: 66/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T84 (1927)
Low T14 (1916)
Precip0.82 (1924)
Snowtrace* (1920)
15T Avgs: 64/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T83 (1965)
Low T18* (1940)
Precip2.71 (2004)
16T Avgs: 63/37
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T86 (1963)
Low T16 (1932)
Precip1.94 (1931)
17T Avgs: 64/37
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T81 (1999)
Low T13 (1959)
Precip1.15 (1964)
18T Avgs: 64/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T83 (1999)
Low T14 (1951)
Precip1.36 (2001)
19T Avgs: 63/37
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T83* (1950)
Low T19 (1921)
Precip1.15 (1963)
20T Avgs: 64/35
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T83* (1949)
Low T18 (1937)
Precip2.98 (1994)
21T Avgs: 63/36
Sig Prcp Freq: 3%
High T85 (1970)
Low T21 (1926)
Precip1.01 (1916)
Snow2.0 (1972)
22T Avgs: 62/36
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T84* (1927)
Low T22 (1945)
Precip0.44 (1963)
Snowtrace (1971)
23T Avgs: 61/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T82 (2005)
Low T19 (1970)
Precip0.60 (1983)
24T Avgs: 60/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T81 (1946)
Low T14 (1938)
Precip0.82 (2000)
Snow1.0 (1918)
25T Avgs: 62/35
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T86 (1965)
Low T18 (2003)
Precip1.24 (1940)
Snow3.0 (1918)
26T Avgs: 61/35
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T89 (1970)
Low T12 (1993)
Precip1.11 (1935)
Snow0.5 (1918)
27T Avgs: 60/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T81 (1960)
Low T17 (2002)
Precip0.64 (1968)
Snow1.0 (1918)
28T Avgs: 58/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T80 (1927)
Low T16 (1976)
Precip0.46 (1968)
Snow3.5 (2001)
29T Avgs: 58/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T84 (1975)
Low T12 (1976)
Precip0.82 (1996)
Snow2.0 (2001)
30T Avgs: 60/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T79* (1924)
Low T14 (2001)
Precip0.71 (1981)
Snow2.0 (2006)
Nov. Averages
High Temp65 F
Low Temp38 F
Avg Temp52 F

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Preparedness for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

This year marks the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed into law in 1990 by President George HW Bush, the ADA prohibits discrimination and mandates equal opportunities for people with disabilities in employment, state, and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunication.
If you or someone you know has a disability or access or functional needs, be sure to take additional steps to stay safe, healthy, mobile, and independent during a disaster.
Find out about assistance programs that may be available in your community and register in advance with your local office of emergency services, non-profit groups, and health departments.
Stay mobile and independent by including items in your disaster supply kit that meet your needs such as:
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing aids;
  • Medical prescriptions;
  • Batteries and chargers for assistance devices; and
  • Written descriptions of service needs.
Looking for more ways to plan for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs? Check out this video from the ReadyCampaign and the Ad Council. The video is for all communities and shows people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. The video provides equal access and includes open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Food Safety Before and After Disasters #AltusOK #OKready

food safety infographic
Power outages can jeopardize the safety of the food stored in your home refrigerator or freezer. If you lose electricity, do you know how to determine if your food is safe to eat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) offers tips to follow before and after a power outage to minimize loss of food and lower the risk of foodborne illness:
  • Gather an emergency food supply of shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, bottled 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;
  • Buy an appliance thermometer for the refrigerator and freezer and a food thermometer to help you know if the food has stayed at a safe temperature during an outage;
  • Throw out any perishable food items such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours;
  • 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 juices. 
Keep in mind that your refrigerator will keep food cold safely for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Did you know that a flood or fire can also impact the safety of food in your home? Be sure to check out the FAQs on the USDA website about keeping food safe after these emergencies.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills #OKeq #AltusOK #OKready #Shakeout

Drop, Cover, Hold On!
Earthquakes may happen where we work, live, or travel. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an opportunity for everyone, everywhere, to practice earthquake safety and other aspects of emergency plans. The goal of ShakeOut is to prevent earthquakes from becoming major catastrophes, by encouraging the whole community to take preparedness actions together. That’s why ShakeOut is a major partner of America’s PrepareAthon!

The 2016 International ShakeOut day is October 20, when millions of people worldwide will hold earthquake drills in schools, organizations, communities, and households. Hold your ShakeOut drill on 10/20 or any other day of the year. 

Visit ShakeOut.org to register your participation, find resources, and learn more. Then invite friends, family, and colleagues to participate in #ShakeOut too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Call 811 before you dig #AltusOK #OKfive

Identify pipeline locations
Call 811 before you dig to locate utility lines
Recognize and respond to gas leaks
How we are making our system safer

CenterPoint Energy is committed to the safe and reliable operation of our natural gas transmission pipelines and distribution system in your community. You probably live or work near a CenterPoint Energy pipeline, and being aware of pipeline locations, taking safety precautions before you dig, and recognizing the signs of gas leaks can help prevent safety hazards.

Since most pipelines are buried underground, pipeline markers are used to indicate their approximate location along the route. They cannot be relied upon to indicate the exact position of the pipeline. The markers, which can be found where a transmission pipeline intersects a street, highway or railway, display the following:

material transported in the line
the name of the pipeline operator
a telephone number where the operator can be reached in an emergency

pipeline markers, aerial markers, casing vent markers

Pipeline Marker - This marker is the most commonly seen. It contains operator information, type of product, and an emergency contact number.

Aerial Marker - These skyway facing markers are used by patrol planes that monitor pipeline rights-of-way.

Casing Vent Marker - This marker indicates that a pipeline (protected by a steel outer casing) passes beneath a nearby roadway, rail line or other crossing.

You can view and download maps of transmission pipelines in your county atnpms.phmsa.dot.gov​.

Local distribution pipelines in neighborhoods are not typically identified with pipeline markers. A call to 811 will help identify the location of these pipelines. 811 is a free, national service to help protect home and​ business owners from unintentionally damaging underground utility lines while digging. Here’s what you need to know:

You or your contractor must call 811 at least 48 hours (two working days) before any digging project, no matter how small – it’s the law
Utility companies will mark the location of their underground utilities
Respect the markers and dig with care
Identification of private lines such as invisible pet fences, sprinkler systems, and gas grill lines are the responsibility of the property owner or contractor performing the excavation
Keep your ticket number for reference
811 Call before you dig.

What to do if you are digging and disturb a pipeline
Even if you cause what seems to be only minor damage to a pipeline, notify the pipeline company immediately. A gouge, scrape, dent or crease to the pipe or coating may cause a future break or leak. It is imperative that the pipeline company be notified so that it can inspect and make any necessary repairs to potential damage to the line. Many states have laws requiring damages to be reported to the facility owner and/or the One-Call Center by dialing 811. Do not attempt to make the repairs to the line yourself. If a line is ruptured or leaking, call 911 and the pipeline operator, if known.

Pipeline Access and Security
If you have a pipeline easement on your property, protect the pipeline by knowing the details of your easement agreement and avoiding activities that could endanger underground lines. Remember the following:

Pipeline rights-of-way must be kept free from structures and other obstructions to provide access to the pipeline for maintenance and in an emergency.
If a pipeline crosses your property, please do not plant trees or high shrubs on the right-of-way.
Do not dig, build, store or place anything on or near rights-of-way without first having the pipeline marked and the rights-of-way staked.
If you witness suspicious activity on a pipeline right-of-way, please report it to the authorities, or call your local CenterPoint Energy emergency number

Natural gas leaks can be hazardous. While natural gas is non-toxic, in high concentrations, it may cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning. Natural gas vapors are lighter than air and will generally rise and dissipate; however, they may gather in a confined space and travel to a source of ignition. Under certain conditions, natural gas leaking into the atmosphere can result in flammable mixtures that can ignite, so keep ignition sources away from the apparent source of the leak.

look icon
Look for signs of a possible leak
   •  Persistent bubbling in standing water
   •  Discolored or dead vegetation around the pipeline area
   •  Dense white cloud or fog
   •  Slight mist of ice
   •  Unexplained frozen ground near the pipeline

listen icon
Listen for any unusual noise 
   •  Whistling, hissing or roaring sound

smell icon
Smell for an odor like rotten eggs
An unusual smell, petroleum odor or gaseous odor
Distinctive, strong odor, often compared to rotten eggs or sulfur, of the odorant mercaptan, which is often added to natural gas

Some people may not be able to smell the odor, or in rare circumstances, the odor can fade. For more detailed information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.

What to do if you suspect a natural gas leak

If you see, hear or smell the signs of a natural gas leak, your first concern should be for your personal safety and the safety of those around you. CenterPoint Energy investigates suspected natural gas leaks at no cost to you.

Leave the area immediately on foot! Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones) or anything that could cause a spark. If outside, move in an upwind direction away from the leak or vapor cloud and maintain a safe distance.
Go directly to a safe location, and then call 911 and CenterPoint Energy. Do not use email or the internet to contact CenterPoint Energy about a leak, and never assume someone else has reported the leak.
Alert your neighbors and warn others to stay away from the leak. Abandon any equipment being used in or near the area of the leak.
Never try to repair a natural gas leak yourself. Leave all repairs to a trained technician.

CenterPoint Energy owns and operates over 120,000 miles of main and service lines that deliver gas to communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. In Minnesota, we operate eight propane-air peak shaving facilities, one liquefied natural gas facility and one underground storage facility. Every year, we invest millions of dollars in our natural gas system to address safety, reliability, and growth. We have also invested in highly sensitive drive-by leak detection technology that enhances our leak detection capabilities.

CenterPoint Energy monitors the operations of our pipelines from our control centers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our pipelines are designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable federal and state requirements. We maintain our safety record by routine inspections, corrosion protection, maintenance and testing programs, employee training and public education.

Due to their proximity to populated or environmentally sensitive areas, some portions of our pipeline systems have been designated as High Consequence Areas. These areas are subject to increased inspection and maintenance measures, known as an Integrity Management Program. More details on CenterPoint Energy's integrity management programs can be found at centerpointenergy.com/en-us/residential/safety/pipeline-safety.

CenterPoint Energy's actions during an emergency
In a natural gas emergency, CenterPoint Energy immediately dispatches personnel to the site to help handle the emergency and provide information to public safety officials to aid in their response. Our personnel will restrict the flow of gas as needed to protect people, property and the environment.

CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas transmission and distribution businesses have been serving customers for more than a century. We work and live in the communities we serve according to our values of safety, accountability, initiative, integrity and respect. We will continue to embrace new technologies that allow us to run our systems more efficiently, more effectively, more reliably and more safely.

For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety. If you have questions, please contact CenterPoint Energy.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.


Tal Centers
VP Safety and Gas System Integrity
CenterPoint Energy