Oklahoma Emergency Management Week is February 22-28
Soon communities all across Oklahoma will join in
recognizing emergency managers at the city, county and state level.
Gov. Brad Henry has proclaimed February 22-28 Emergency Management Week
and similar proclamations have been issued locally.
As recently as the May 8th and 9th tornadoes, Oklahomans were reminded
of the trying conditions that can be delivered by natural disasters,
said Albert Ashwood, director, Oklahoma Department of Emergency
Management (ODEM). “Once again, Oklahoma’s emergency managers worked
around the clock doing what they do best – supporting response and
recovery efforts by coordinating the delivery of vital resources,” said
On Monday, Feb. 23, emergency managers will take their message of
disaster preparedness to the State Capitol. The Oklahoma Emergency
Management Association is hosting the event designed to deliver
discussion on the response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation
efforts of emergency managers. A Legislative Reception will be held
from 2 to 4 p.m. in the fourth floor Rotunda.
Emergency managers exist at the federal level through the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the state level through ODEM and
at the local level representing municipalities and counties. Many of
today’s emergency managers are yesterday’s civil defense workers.
Emergency managers support response and recovery efforts during
disaster times by working behind the scenes to coordinate the
identification, deployment and use of needed resources by police, fire
and other emergency responders.
In the last few years alone, emergency managers helped Oklahomans
during tornadoes, ice storms, wildfires, floods, hazardous materials
incidents, a school shooting, drought conditions, and the I-40 bridge
collapse. They helped get drinking water, food and shelter to those who
had none, additional law enforcement and fire suppression where the
flames threatened lives and homes, and hay to livestock where the
ground was left barren.
Emergency managers also work year round to prevent and decrease the
effects of disasters through mitigation projects like repetitive flood
buy-out programs, disaster exercises and training activities.