Emergency Management News

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fire Safety Tips from @USfire #OKfire

Decorate Safely for the Holidays

Water Your Christmas Tree Every Day
Keep your holidays happy with safe decorations.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration(USFA), December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.

Be fire smart as you deck the halls for a festive holiday season with these USFA tips:
  • Water Christmas trees every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch fire easily.
  • Make sure Christmas trees are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents. Also, make sure the tree does not block exits.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away strands with frayed or pinched wires. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Turn off all holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where you can not knock them down. 
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns. Never leave a burning candle alone in an empty room.

Find more holiday, Christmas tree, and fire safety information on the USFA Holiday Safety page.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

December Climate Data provided by @OKMesoNet

Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Dec record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
Dec. Averages
High Temp55 F
Low Temp29 F
Avg Temp42 F
1T Avgs: 60/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T81 (1950)
Low T7 (2006)
Precip0.98 (1933)
Snow2.5 (2006)
2T Avgs: 60/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T83 (1995)
Low T8* (1985)
Precip2.33 (1913)
Snowtrace (1919)
3T Avgs: 59/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T80 (1995)
Low T17 (1967)
Precip0.65 (1993)
4T Avgs: 59/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T88 (1954)
Low T18 (2009)
Precip1.47 (1947)
5T Avgs: 59/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T84 (1956)
Low T18* (1950)
Precip0.81 (1935)
Snowtrace* (1950)
6T Avgs: 56/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T80 (1939)
Low T6 (1950)
Precip1.82 (1926)
Snow1.6 (1942)
7T Avgs: 57/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T83 (1966)
Low T8 (1950)
Precip0.51 (1942)
Snow7.5 (1942)
8T Avgs: 54/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T77 (1970)
Low T2 (2005)
Precip1.65 (1980)
Snowtrace* (1921)
9T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T75* (1957)
Low T4 (2005)
Precip1.42 (1999)
Snow2.0 (1932)
10T Avgs: 54/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T83 (1939)
Low T7 (1919)
Precip1.07 (1999)
Snowtrace (1997)
11T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T81 (1939)
Low T8 (1917)
Precip0.95 (1960)
Snow0.5 (1972)
12T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T79 (1921)
Low T5 (1989)
Precip0.96 (2007)
Snow0.5 (1972)
13T Avgs: 52/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T84 (1921)
Low T6 (1917)
Precip0.53 (2000)
Snow2.0 (1985)
14T Avgs: 53/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T79 (1921)
Low T8* (1914)
Precip0.70 (1992)
15T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T79 (1977)
Low T8 (1987)
Precip0.99 (1984)
Snow5.0 (1932)
16T Avgs: 54/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T78 (2006)
Low T8 (1987)
Precip1.54 (1931)
Snowtrace* (1965)
17T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T77 (1939)
Low T0 (1932)
Precip0.80 (1959)
Snow2.5 (1924)
18T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T76 (1977)
Low T8* (1964)
Precip0.70 (1995)
Snow1.0 (1924)
19T Avgs: 54/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T76 (1978)
Low T0 (1924)
Precip1.41 (1918)
Snow0.5 (1995)
20T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T77 (2004)
Low T6 (1983)
Precip1.59 (2006)
Snowtrace* (1951)
21T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T78 (1981)
Low T5 (1983)
Precip1.24 (1997)
Snow1.0 (1916)
22T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T74* (1982)
Low T0* (1983)
Precip1.20 (2002)
Snow3.0 (1913)
23T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T76 (1964)
Low T-10 (1989)
Precip2.79 (1932)
Snow10.5 (1918)
24T Avgs: 51/26
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T88 (1955)
Low T4 (1983)
Precip1.29 (1965)
Snow2.5 (2009)
25T Avgs: 51/26
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T75 (1950)
Low T5 (1983)
Precip0.85 (2009)
Snow5.0 (1939)
26T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 4%
High T77 (2005)
Low T7 (1914)
Precip1.75 (1987)
Snow1.3 (2000)
27T Avgs: 51/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T78 (1923)
Low T7 (1924)
Precip1.18 (1927)
Snow1.3 (2000)
28T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T80 (1923)
Low T-1 (1924)
Precip0.34 (1943)
Snow2.0 (1944)
29T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T80* (1923)
Low T1 (1983)
Precip0.64 (1979)
Snow3.5 (1954)
30T Avgs: 53/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 2%
High T82 (1921)
Low T8 (1990)
Precip0.64 (2006)
Snow2.0 (2009)
31T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T81 (1951)
Low T6 (1968)
Precip1.78 (1984)
Snow1.5 (1918)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

One Million Free Smoke Alarms Installed #OKfire

Altus Fire has a FREE smoke alarm program.  Please contact your local fire department or the American Red Cross for information.

Together, Let's Sound the Alarm.
Last week, the American Red Cross announced that its Home Fire Campaign installed one million free smoke alarms. 

Due to the efforts of volunteers and community partners who participated in the campaign, 285 lives have been saved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program provided funding for this initiative, and several Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) volunteered for the campaign.

FEMA also encourages CERTs throughout the Nation to join the American Red Cross in Sound the Alarm community events this spring.  From April 28 to May 13, 2018, this initiative plans to install 100,000 free smoke alarms across more than 100 major cities.

Joining is simple! Follow these steps to sign up to be a Sound the Alarm volunteer:
  1. Go to www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your zip code to find a nearby event.
  3. Scroll down again and click the region nearest you.
  4. Scroll down again to “Volunteer Opportunities,” click the event that works for you. Once you choose the event, fill out the short application.
  5. Be sure to type “CERT team/program name” in the Group/Organization field so FEMA can recognize your participation.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Don't forget your car this winter

Winterize Your Car

Car Winter Emergency Supplies
Don’t hit the road without a jack or until your car is ready for winter weather.

There are specific emergency items to store in your car during the winter. There are also maintenance checks to keep you safe, your vehicle warm and your engine running.  

Follow these tips and find more winter preparedness information at Ready.gov.

Check or have a mechanic check items, such as:
  • Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
  • Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Add winter items to the emergency kits in your vehicles:
  • A shovel.
  • Windshield scraper and small broom.
  • Water.
  • Snack food.
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens.
  • Necessary medications.
  • Blanket(s).
  • Tow chain or rope.
  • Road salt and sand.

Additional winter preparedness tips are available to keep your family safe and warm all winter long. To view more, check out the America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Do your turkey well; not welldone #OKfire

Add Safety to Your Thanksgiving Menu

Use Turkey Fryers Outdoors
Deep frying a turkey may be delicious but it can also be dangerous.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and frying food increases the risk. Keep your family safe by following these five safety tips:
  • Use your turkey fryer only outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from things that can burn. Make sure to have a “3-foot kid- and pet-free zone” around your turkey fryer to protect against burn injuries. Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
  • Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water. An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
  • Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil will not overheat. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
  • Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle these items. The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.

For more tips, visit the USFA’s Cooking Fire Safety page.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Prepare Your Home for Winter #OKwx #OKice

How Prepared Are You For Winter Storms?
Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationreleased its winter outlook, which calls for a cooler and wetter than usual winter for the northern United States. As winter moves closer by the day, prepare your home now for tomorrow’s bitter cold.

Take extra steps to protect yourself and your family from the hazards that come with cold weather. You can start by:
  • Cleaning and inspecting your heating equipment;
  • Insulating walls, attics and water pipes, and caulking and weather stripping doors and windows;
  • Installing storm windows or covering your windows with plastic;
  • Clearing rain gutters;
  • Checking your roof to be sure it can handle the extra weight of snow and ice; and
  • Installing battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, home fires occur more often in winter than any other season. Protect your home by:
  • Always using a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace;
  • Making sure your space heater has an automatic shut off (if it tips over, it shuts off); and
  • Keeping snow and ice three feet away from fire hydrants to allow access in case of a fire.

The snow may seem harmless, but colder weather can be deceptively dangerous. Do not get caught in the cold. Make sure that your home and family prepare for severe winter weather. To learn more, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/winter.html and https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Recognize and Prevent Hypothermia

Hypothermia Graphic
Old Man Winter is still hanging around but don’t let him put a chill in your bones.

During the winter months, it is especially important to be aware of the signs of hypothermia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that it can happen even at temperatures above 40°F. This includes someone being chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Know the warning signs of hypothermia:
  • Body temperature below 95 degrees.
  • Bright red, cold skin (Infants).
  • Very low energy, exhaustion, drowsiness.
  • Uncontrollable shivering, fumbling hands.
  • Confusion, memory loss, disorientation.
  • Incoherence, slurred speech.

If someone is suffering from hypothermia, get medical attention immediately. Begin warming the person until help arrives with some of the recommendations from the CDC. Keep the information on quick tips available by clicking the link: CDC’s Hypothermia page.

When going out into colder weather use some of the guidelines below to prevent hypothermia:
  • Wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.

For more information on winter preparedness, visit the America’s PrepareAthon! Winter Storm section.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cook Safely for #Thanksgiving #OKfire

Practice safe cooking this Thanksgiving
Prevent your Thanksgiving from going up in flames.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), cooking is the main cause of home fires. Also, the peak day for home cooking fires is Thanksgiving.

Keep your holiday safe and fun. Follow these tips from the USFA:
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the burner.
  • Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  • If you simmer, bake, or roast food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels, and curtains) away from your stovetop.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Then, no one can bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby.  Use it to cover the pan if it catches fire. This will put the fire out.
  • In the event of an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cool.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

For more tips, visit the USFA’s Cooking Fire Safety page. If you plan to deep fry your turkey, download the Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire tip sheet. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

To be Notified is to be Prepared

Emergency Notifications Graphic
How do you stay informed about winter weather? True preparation is being notified before a storm hits.

According to the 2015 FEMA National Household Survey, 67% of people know how to get real-time alerts and warnings ahead of a winter storm. Are you one of them?

You can help stay safe against winter weather with real-time emergency alerts on your cellular phone and computer. Stay informed about winter weather in your area and be prepared for the unexpected with winter car safety kits.

Review the Know Your Alerts and Warnings fact sheet from America’s PrepareAthon!  to get alerts  as soon as possible.

Sign up for Alert Altus free from the City of Altus.