Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 2
December 5, 2013, 6 p.m.
WINTER STORM IMPACTS STATE
Due to the latest winter storm impacting Oklahoma, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC during activation have included the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies.
Roads are slick and hazardous in many areas of the state. Numerous schools have canceled classes and evening activities for tonight and tomorrow. Stay tuned to local media for notification of cancelations.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the winter storm. 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.
The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Baptist Disaster Relief report they are on standby to assist with shelters, warming stations and feeding stations in the impacted areas.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 36 storm related injuries have been reported by area hospitals including 16 falls.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has responded to 54 non-injury collisions and 30 injury collisions since 8 a.m. due to the weather. They continue to urge motorists to avoid travel in the affected areas.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews throughout the central, southern, south-central, eastern and northeastern parts of the state and in the Panhandle are now reporting slick and hazardous roadways as snow and freezing rain has intensified throughout the state. ODOT is applying sand and salt to icy roadways and plowing snow in areas of accumulation. Snow packed and slick roads are being reported in the Oklahoma City Metro area and slick spots are reported in the Tulsa metro area.
As winter weather conditions are anticipated to continue overnight and temperatures to remain below freezing, travel is highly discouraged this evening if possible.
To check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS, call the Department of Public Safety's ROAD CONDITIONS HOTLINE at 405-425-2385 or visit http://www.dps.state.ok.us/cgi-bin/weathermap.cgi.
In preparation for the storm, the State Emergency Operations Center is activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with local emergency managers across the state as well as numerous emergency response, recovery partners. OEM, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma National Guard and Oklahoma Department of Transportation have developed a stranded motorist plan with teams positioned across the state in the areas with greatest risk for dangerous road conditions.
Additionally, OEM has worked with FEMA to preposition industrial size generators in the state. The generators will be used in the event shelters are needed due to stranded motorists or power outages. The generators will also be used to provide power to water treatment plants in the event of electric service disruptions. The FEMA generators will augment the industrial size generators OEM already has positioned around the state. Please note these generators are NOT for residential use.
OEM continues to receive updates from the National Weather Service and stands ready to assist local emergency managers, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other disaster relief agencies with resource needs.
The Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General reports that Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act is now in effect for 77 Oklahoma counties after Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency due to the winter weather that started Thursday morning.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Oklahoma’s price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health offers the following tips for heating safety during winter storms.
When temperatures fall and power goes out, the possibility of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning rises as people try to stay warm. Invisible, odorless and tasteless, CO is a highly poisonous gas produced by the burning of fuel such as gasoline, natural gas, kerosene, charcoal or wood. Unvented or faulty gas and kerosene appliances have the greatest potential to produce dangerous levels of CO in a home. Smoldering or poorly vented fireplaces, slow-burning fuels such as charcoal and vehicle exhausts also are potential indoor hazards. Take these precautions:
- Look at the color of the flame. A hot blue flame produces less CO and more heat than a flickering yellow flame. If you see yellow flames in your furnace or stove burner, it should be adjusted so that the flame is blue.
- Don’t use an unvented gas or kerosene heater in closed spaces, especially sleeping areas.
- Don’t use gas appliances such as an oven, range or clothes dryer to heat your home.
- Don’t burn charcoal inside a house, garage, vehicle or tent for heating or cooking, even in a fireplace.
- Look for CO exposure symptoms including headache, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting that can progress to disorientation, coma, convulsions and death.
- If you suspect CO poisoning, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances, and go outside for fresh air. Call 9-1-1 emergency medical services in severe cases.
- To prevent residential fires, make sure that heaters, stoves, and fireplaces are at least three feet from anything that burns. Use screens in front of fireplaces, and do not leave children alone with space heaters. Never leave candles burning when you are not at home or while you are sleeping. If a heater uses fuel like propane or kerosene, use only that kind of fuel and add more fuel only when the heater is cool. Store all fuels outside in closed metal containers.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/cofacts.asp
Situation Updates are posted at www.oem.ok.gov
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Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant