Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
February 25, 2013 – 1:15 p.m.
WINTER STORM IMPACTING STATE
Due to the latest winter storm to impact Oklahoma, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated. A blizzard warning remains in effect for much of northwest Oklahoma, with additional parts of the state under a winter storm warning or a winter advisory.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
At the request of Governor Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb today declared a State of Emergency for 56 Oklahoma counties due to the winter storm, excessive snow, and severe weather affecting many areas of the state. The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
Counties included in the State of Emergency are: Adair, Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cherokee, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig. Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Mayes, McClain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Texas, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is urging motorists to avoid travel in all impacted areas. Many roads and highways in northwest Oklahoma are closed due to snow and blowing snow. While travel is strongly discouraged, if travel is unavoidable be sure to check road conditions before traveling.
For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call (405) 425-2385 or go to www.dps.state.ok.us.
OKLAHOMANS URGED TO AVOID TRAVEL
Oklahomans are urged to avoid travel. If travel is unavoidable, make sure you let someone know where you are going and the route you are taking and be sure to have the following items with you in your vehicle.
- A cell phone with charger and a battery powered radio.
- Windshield scraper, de-icer, snow shovel and small broom for ice and snow removal.
- Several blankets or sleeping bags.
- Rain gear, warm coats and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks and a cap.
- Non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, nuts and other high energy snacks.
- Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature so melt it first.
- Sand or cat litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains.
- Jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit and brightly colored cloth to tie to antenna if you get stranded.
WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS TIPS
As the storm moves through the state, it’s important to remember these additional winter weather preparedness tips.
Have A Plan:
- Understand the hazards of wind chill. Cold temperatures are even more dangerous, and potentially deadly, when combined with strong winds. The lower the temperature and stronger the wind, the more at risk you are.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are prepared.
- Plan to bring pets inside during winter weather. Move livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing
- Know what National Weather Service winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings mean.
- A winter storm watch is a message indicating a winter storm is possible in your area.
- A winter storm warning indicates a winter storm is occurring winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area and could threaten life and property.
- A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow is expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
- Depend on your NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio, along with local radio and television stations, for weather reports.
Situation Updates are posted at www.oem.ok.gov
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Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant