Emergency Management News

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Alerting has come a LONG way #IPAWS #Skywarn

Those that remember CONELRAD, will remember the Civil Defense diamonds on the AM radio dial on the dashboard of the car delivered standard from Detroit.  From there, came the transistor radio and the cry from the Civil Defense group to have a battery-powered radio in your disaster supply kits.

From the 50s through today, Alerting has come very far since ConelRad.  Has the public kept up?

Some will say yes.  Friends on Facebook and Followers on Twitter can get the latest news from the National Weather Service directly.

Almost every Radio and TV station has applications for free download that provides the latest breaking news.  Newspapers have joined in with their own apps and banners on their news sites.

At night and asleep, folks are startled awake by the National Weather Service All-Hazards radio system and the Federal Emergency Management Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Even the City of Altus as Alert Altus and, through it, the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System

Many amateur radio repeaters have the ability to interrupt with automatic weather reports from the NWS All-Hazards system mentioned above.  Those dedicated volunteers also participate in the area Skywarn programs.

All these efforts and more are the reason the City of Altus is listed in the NWS StormReady program.

Those that say No point to the plethora of Fake Weather social media sites that spring up to show sharks floating in neighborhood streets, fake radar sites showing the eye of hurricane over Indianapolis, and self-proclaimed meteorologists raising unnecessary alarm.

... and we still can't warm Suzy running the Hoover in her basement while listening to her IPOD.

As one County Commissioner once said "There's always room for improvement".

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Get Tech Ready

FEMA App Features
How would you find out if there was an alert in your area? While watching television or listening to the radio may be effective, mobile technology and the Internet have become one of the quickest and most popular ways for Americans to receive emergency information instantly. 

Smartphone alerts and warning apps can make it easier than ever for families, businesses, and individuals to effectively prepare for and recover from disasters. Visit the Ready Campaign’s Get Tech Ready page for tips, such as:
  • Sign up to receive preparedness tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) text message program: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA).
  • Download the FEMA App to access disaster preparedness tips, obtain weather alerts for up to five locations, and look for open Disaster Recovery Centers along with open shelters. 
  • Store your important documents such as personal and financial records on a secure flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones by having preparedness at your fingertips. Learn more at www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Is Your Family Financially Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Developing plans and participating in drills are essential emergency preparedness activities. Taking steps to be financially prepared for an emergency is a critical activity in any planning effort.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, contains information for you to prepare now for a financial emergency. The guide includes information on obtaining insurance, planning tips and resources to help you manage your finances, and accessing important records to help you recover more quickly should you be affected by a disaster.

Financial Preparedness Resources

Financial preparedness is one of the many ways to participate in Prepareathon. Register your preparedness actions today atwww.ready.gov/prepare.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hazards of Shoveling Snow #OKice

Person Shoveling Snow
Snow shoveling can be a chore and it can also be hazardous. 

According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, more than 10,000 people visit emergency rooms each year due to overexertion and injury while nearly 100 people die every year from heart attacks brought on by shoveling snow. Stay healthy and safe by taking these precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold.
  • Dress warmly and work slowly. Your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it. Take breaks every few minutes and stretch by standing up straight.
  • Push the snow. Don’t lift. If you must lift, use your legs not your back.
  • Stay dry. Wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. 
  • Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as clear of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.
  • When shoveling, remember to keep snow and ice three feet from fire hydrants so firefighters can quickly access them in case of fire.
Find more winter safety information in the America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Six Ways to Protect Pets in Winter

Wipe Your Dog's Paws Graphic

If it’s too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pet. Remember to bring animals inside. 

Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines from The Humane Society:
  • Remember to bring your pets inside. Do not leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 
  • Exposed skin on noses, ears, and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Even during short walks, short-haired dogs can become cold quickly and may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. 
  • Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet and may be toxic if ingested. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.  Use pet-safe products whenever possible. 
  • If there are feral or stray cats in your area, they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. Learn more
  • Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. Bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine. 
  • If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you're concerned. If someone you raise these concerns with continues to neglect their animals, follow these steps to report wintertime neglect.
For more information, visit the Humane Society or find Cold Weather Guidelines for Large Animals and Livestock on www.ready.gov.