Emergency Management News

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

FEMA Releases the Refreshed National Incident Management System #NIMS @FEMA

This year’s active hurricane and fire seasons highlight the importance of working together before, during, and after disasters of all types and sizes. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to manage all threats and hazards.  

Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the refreshed NIMS to ensure that this important guidance continues to reflect the collective expertise of the whole community. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.  

Through an iterative process of engagement with stakeholders from across the Nation, FEMA reviewed more than 3,000 comments to update NIMS guidance and incorporate the collective expertise and experience of the whole community.  

The refreshed NIMS: 
  • Retains key concepts and principles of the 2004 and 2008 versions of NIMS;
  • Reflects and incorporates policy updates from lessons learned from exercises and real-world incidents and disasters;
  • Clarifies the processes and terminology for qualifying, certifying, and credentialing incident personnel, building a foundation for the development of a national qualification system;
  • Clarifies that NIMS is more than just the Incident Command System (ICS), and that it applies to all incident personnel, from the incident command post to the National Response Coordination Center;
  • Describes common functions and terminology for staff in Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), while remaining flexible to allow for differing missions, authorities, and resources of EOCs across the nation; and
  • Explains the relationship among ICS, EOCs, and senior leaders/policy groups. 

FEMA will host a series of 60-minute webinars to discuss the updates in the refreshed NIMS and answer questions related to NIMS. The webinars will be open to the whole community.

To review the refreshed NIMS document and for additional webinar information, visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system

FEMA continues to support strengthening the security and resilience of the Nation by working to improve the ability of all to manage incidents, events, and emergencies. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What did I just see, hear, feel?

Here's a brief followup  U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)​ and Oklahoma Geological Survey​ folks.

The latter has a reporting page for reporting unknown events.  The sensors locally are not right IN City of Altus but close. 

http://www.ou.edu/content/ogs/research/earthquakes/seismicstations.html shows them.

When you see, hear, feel something, in addition to reporting, go to the Seismic Monitoring Program and see what recorded.  The site does not display much time but

shows a couple of shakes around 5 p.m. or so.

The site up closer to Mangum, Oklahoma​ was a little more active ... 

If it's unknown, continue to report.   Please do not call 911, unless there is life or property threatened.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Coping Mechanisms: Children and Disasters #WRN #SMEM

Children Coping with Disasters
Disasters can leave children feeling frightened, confused, and insecure. Whether a child has personally experienced trauma or seen the event on television, it is important for parents to be informed and ready to help ease their child’s stress.  

According to child psychologists, children may respond to disaster by demonstrating fears, sadness, or behavioral problems. These reactions may vary depending on the child’s age.

Adult behavior, thoughts, and feelings often influence children’s reactions. Parents can help meet their child’s emotional needs by:
  • Encouraging him or her to share thoughts and feelings about the incident;
  • Clarifying misunderstandings about risk and danger by listening to their child’s concerns and answering questions;
  • Maintaining a sense of calm by validating their child’s concerns and perceptions with discussion of concrete plans for safety; and
  • Monitoring or limiting exposure to the media.

For more information about helping children cope with disaster, visit www.ready.gov/coping-with-disaster.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Stay Safe During a Wildfire #OKfire

Wildfire Preparedness
With several active wildfires affecting the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States, it is important to know how to stay safe with information and resources from Prepareathon™.

Wildfires can happen anywhere in the country and at any time of year. If you see a wildfire approaching, call 911 to report the fire. Do not assume that someone else reported it.

If ordered to evacuate:
  • Leave immediately.
  • Help firefighters, if there is time before you leave. Some of the things to help include closing up the house and leaving lights on for visibility, as well as moving flammable materials to the center of the home, away from windows. You can also leave hoses connected to a water source, so they are available for the fire department.
  • Text SHELTER and your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER 20472) to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. Follow local media for more information on shelters.
  • Download the FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) for disaster resources including directions to open shelters.

If trapped in your home:
  • If you cannot get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with a cloth to keep smoke out. Crawl on the floor if there is smoke – the air is cleaner.  Crawl to a door and touch it with your hand.  If the door is hot, do not open it. Call 911 and provide your location.
  • Keep doors, windows, vents, and fire screens closed.
  • Keep your doors unlocked.
  • Move flammable materials (e.g., curtains, furniture) away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Fill sinks and tubs with water to assist in dousing small smoldering fires, which may pop up.
  • Stay inside, away from outside walls and windows.

Remember: Get low and go! If you hear a smoke alarm, get out fast! For more information on how to prepare for, stay safe during and recover from a wildfire, review Prepareathon’s How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, or got to:  www.usfa.fema.gov/wui_toolkit or watch the When the Fire Starts video.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

October Climate Data is supplied by @OKMesonet

Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Oct record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
Oct. Averages
High Temp78 F
Low Temp50 F
Avg Temp64 F
1T Avgs: 85/54
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T104 (1977)
Low T39 (1985)
Precip1.46 (1941)
2T Avgs: 85/55
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T102 (2000)
Low T40* (1975)
Precip1.12 (1986)
3T Avgs: 84/55
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T104 (2000)
Low T40 (1975)
Precip2.15 (1955)
4T Avgs: 83/56
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T102 (1928)
Low T38 (1979)
Precip3.57 (1953)
5T Avgs: 82/55
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T98 (1937)
Low T37 (1932)
Precip3.45 (1919)
6T Avgs: 82/55
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T99 (1937)
Low T35 (2001)
Precip2.31 (1930)
7T Avgs: 80/53
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T101 (1979)
Low T31 (1952)
Precip1.13 (1919)
8T Avgs: 80/53
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T99 (1979)
Low T34 (1976)
Precip1.54 (1919)
9T Avgs: 81/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T99* (1928)
Low T26 (2000)
Precip4.44 (1918)
10T Avgs: 80/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T96 (1963)
Low T27 (2000)
Precip1.66 (1926)
11T Avgs: 79/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T97 (1954)
Low T34 (1932)
Precip1.43 (1931)
12T Avgs: 79/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T95 (1979)
Low T28 (1977)
Precip1.71 (1960)
13T Avgs: 80/53
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T100 (1954)
Low T34 (1986)
Precip3.73 (1923)
14T Avgs: 79/52
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T99 (1928)
Low T34* (1969)
Precip1.89 (1960)
15T Avgs: 78/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 23%
High T97 (1917)
Low T35* (1914)
Precip3.31 (1915)
16T Avgs: 78/51
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T96 (1917)
Low T30 (2001)
Precip1.80 (2006)
17T Avgs: 77/50
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T98 (1972)
Low T31* (1976)
Precip1.05 (1942)
18T Avgs: 77/49
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T95 (1972)
Low T33 (1948)
Precip4.16 (1965)
19T Avgs: 77/48
Sig Prcp Freq: 4%
High T95 (1940)
Low T25 (1989)
Precip1.40 (1983)
20T Avgs: 75/48
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T95 (1979)
Low T25 (1976)
Precip7.10 (1983)
21T Avgs: 76/48
Sig Prcp Freq: 18%
High T95 (2003)
Low T32 (1917)
Precip1.96 (1972)
22T Avgs: 75/48
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T93 (1939)
Low T29 (1990)
Precip2.76 (1986)
23T Avgs: 73/47
Sig Prcp Freq: 20%
High T92 (2003)
Low T28 (1917)
Precip1.33 (1977)
24T Avgs: 73/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T95 (2003)
Low T27 (2005)
Precip1.25 (1949)
25T Avgs: 73/46
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T91 (1939)
Low T28 (2005)
Precip2.18 (1923)
26T Avgs: 73/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T93 (1950)
Low T26 (1957)
Precip2.60 (1918)
Snowtrace* (1913)
27T Avgs: 72/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T91 (1930)
Low T26 (1997)
Precip0.74 (2000)
28T Avgs: 72/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T90 (1937)
Low T26 (1925)
Precip1.95 (1991)
29T Avgs: 73/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T92 (1950)
Low T20 (1980)
Precip1.50 (2009)
30T Avgs: 72/45
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T90 (1963)
Low T17 (1917)
Precip1.90 (1979)
31T Avgs: 70/44
Sig Prcp Freq: 21%
High T88* (1944)
Low T17 (1993)
Precip1.88 (1940)
Snowtrace (1941)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Food Safety and Kitchen Cleaning After a Disaster #NATLPrep

Food Safety
Flooding can cause power outages for hours, days and even weeks, which may make food unsafe to eat. 

If a fire, flood, power outage or natural disaster impacts your home, minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness by knowing how to determine food safety.

You can learn the right decisions for keeping your family safe after a power outage with food and cleaning safety facts from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

After a Flood
  • Use bottled drinking water that has not come into contact with flood water.
  • Do not eat any food that may have come in contact with flood water.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance it may have come in contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps.
  • Discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood waters.  They cannot be cleaned and sanitized effectively. 
  • Inspect canned foods; discard any food in damaged cans. Check cans for  swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
  • Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers that may have come in contact with flood waters. There is no way to clean them safely. 
  • Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, utensils (including can openers) with soap and water (hot water if available). Rinse and sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
  • Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water (hot water if available). Rinse and then sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water. Allow it to air-dry.
  • Note: If your entire refrigerator or freezer was in flood waters — even partially — it is unsafe to use and must be discarded.

After a Weather Emergency
The USDA also issued a news release with food safety tips to follow in advance of losing power, steps to follow if the power goes out,  and food safety after a flood. There were also steps to follow after a weather emergency.
  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.       
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste food to decide if it is safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. 

For more information about cleaning up after a disaster, review Prepareathon’s Flood and Hurricane guides. Also, see food safety tips at Ready.gov.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Get Involved During National Preparedness Month #NatlPrep

National Preparedness Month Logo
The fourth week of National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2017 begins on Sunday, September 24.

Each week NPM focuses on a different preparedness action. The theme for September 24-30 is Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger. Share preparedness information or create a preparedness program for your community, campus, business, or faith-based organization. Consider the following preparedness steps from the Ready Campaign:

If you plan to host a preparedness event, we encourage you to share it on the Prepareathon™ website.

You can find more resources including the weekly themes, graphics, videos, and social media content in the NPM Toolkit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Simple Steps for Earthquake Preparedness

Drop, Cover, and Hold On
August 24 marked the anniversary of the 2011 East Coast earthquake. While earthquakes may be more prevalent in some areas than others, they can happen anywhere and are unpredictable.

Taking steps ahead of time to protect yourself in the event of an earthquake is vital in reducing injuries and loss of life. The vast majority of injuries during an earthquake occur because of flying glass and falling objects. Stay safe with these tips from Prepareathon’s How to Prepare for an Earthquake guide:
  • Prepare your home for an earthquake by securing all items that could fall and cause injuries (e.g. bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures).
  • Practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On under a desk or table. Watch the When the Earth Shakes video for more information on what to do if an earthquake happens while you are inside, outside, or driving.
  • Plan how you will communicate with family members by making a family emergency communication plan.
  • When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from any damage.

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

National Prepareathon Day September 15 #NatlPrep

Prepareathon Logo
Disasters and emergencies raise our awareness of the need to prepare ourselves, our families, and our communities for the types of disasters that can affect us. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are reminders that disasters are often unpredictable. 

While September is National Preparedness Month, September 15 is National Prepareathon™ Day, which aims to highlight the preparedness actions that individuals, families, and organizations completed over the past year.

Sit down with your loved ones to take stock of your preparedness efforts and consider taking the following actions:
  • Talk with your family and neighbors about planning for an emergency and identify an out-of-town emergency contact that can help your household reconnect if a disaster affects you. 
  • Consider the costs associated with disasters such as insurance deductibles and evacuation costs, and plan for those costs. Anticipate initial out-of-pocket disaster expenses for lodging, food, gas, and more. Check your insurance coverage to make sure you are protected against the risks you face. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding.
  • Consider starting a savings account, if you do not have one already, to help you recover from an emergency or disaster. Use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to get started. The EFFAK is a flexible tool designed to help individuals and families at all income levels collect and secure the documentation they would need to get on the road to recovery without unnecessary delays, should disaster strike.
  • Download the FEMA app, which allows you to sign up for weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the country. Also, sign up for local alerts and warning systems your community may have. 
  • Learn where your community’s shelters are located (and whether or not they are pet-friendly).
  • Practice using your community’s evacuation routes should you be required to leave – this way, you know exactly where you would go, how to get there, and what to do if an emergency occurs.

To participate in National Prepareathon Day and share your achievements with the rest of the Nation, register your preparedness action on the Prepareathon website and post about your success on social media with the hashtags #HowIPrepare or #HowWePrepare.