Emergency Management News

Monday, October 30, 2017

FEMA Preparedness Awards Webinar

Webinar: 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Recognition and Idea Sharing

Congratulations 2017 ICP Award Winners
TomorrowOctober 31 at 2 p.m. ET, join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a webinar to honor the preparedness efforts of the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness (ICP) Award winners and learn about their programs.

FEMA will host the webinar with the awardees to generate conversation, share ideas, insights, and experiences. Winners will provide models of preparedness programs to help others take similar actions in their community.

The FEMA ICP Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements of individuals, communities, and organizations throughout the country that made outstanding contributions to prepare their community. 

A list of the FEMA ICP Awards recipients and the honorable mentions for each category is available at www.ready.gov/awards.

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on October 31!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Internet Wants You: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Logo
The fourth week of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month(NCSAM), October 23-27, encourages students and job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers. You can get started now with the resources below.

To learn more about cybersecurity education and career development, visit www.dhs.gov/topic/cybersecurity-education-career-development. To learn more about cybersecurity careers at DHS, visit www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers/dhs-cybersecurity.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Make Halloween a Treat

Use flashlights or battery-operated candles for Halloween
Keep your costumes, decorations, and treats safe for a Happy Halloween.

  • Look for flame-resistant costumes with bright colors or trimmed with reflective tape to make them more visible to drivers.
  • Carry brightly colored trick-or-treat bags or bags decorated with reflective tape. 
  • Use flameless candles or glow sticks for jack-o’-lanterns and other decorations.
  • Decorations like cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep exits clear of these items.
  • Make sure children’s masks include eyeholes big enough to see through to avoid injury and nose holes for proper breathing.

Find additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Halloween Safety page. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Steps for Cleaning Up After a Flood #OKwx

Coming Home After a Flood
After flooding, it is important to know how to clean up safely.

Listen to local authorities to determine when it is safe for you to return home. Do not return home until local officials indicate it is safe to do so.Stay vigilant and monitor radio or TV stations for local emergency management officials’ guidance.

Ensure water is safe to drink, cook, or clean with after a flood. Oftentimes local officials put a boil water order in place following a flood or hurricane.

Remember, never run a generator inside your home, and keep it away from windows, doors, and vents.

Tips from FEMA for clean-up after returning home:
  • Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, and other exterior damage.
  • Take photos of your damage before you begin to clean up and save repair receipts.
  • Get rid of mold. Mold may have contaminated your home, which raises the health risk for those with asthma, allergies, and breathing conditions. Refer to the Center for Disease Control for more info on mold.
  • Open doors and windows so your house can air out before spending any length of time inside.
  • Turn off main electrical power and water systems and do not use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
  • Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
  • Throw out all foods, beverages, and medicines exposed to flood waters or mud including canned goods and containers with food or liquid.
  • Throw out any items that absorb water and you cannot clean or disinfect (i.e. mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, etc.).
  • Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
  • Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with floodwaters.
  • Clean all hard surfaces (flooring, countertops, appliances, sinks, etc.) thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent.

To learn more about what to do before, during, and after a flood or a hurricane,  visit www.ready.gov/floods, Prepareathon’s™ Flood and Hurricane pages and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flood Water After an Emergency or Disaster.

If you experienced a flood or other damages due to recent hurricane activity, please visit www.disasterassistance.gov to register for federal assistance. 

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.