Oklahoma City's Yager Receives Frizzell Award
Citation honors outstanding public information work in emergency management
Oklahoma City – Kristy Yager, Public Information Director for the City of Oklahoma City, was recognized for her dedicated commitment to keeping the public informed with the 2008 Ben Frizzell Memorial Award. The citation was presented by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) during the annual awards banquet for the state’s emergency managers on October 8. The award recognizes an individual who provides outstanding service in the area of emergency management public information.
Since she was named director of the Oklahoma City Public Information and Marketing Office in 2006, Yager has managed a vast array of duties with constant professionalism. However, her recent work in support of the Hurricane Gustav evacuees at the Oklahoma City Evacuees Support Shelter best illustrates her highly effective communication and leadership style. Moreover, her management of crisis communications efforts at the shelter stands as a testament to her dedication to the need for timely and accurate information in disaster times.
At the shelter, Yager worked with numerous partner agencies and organizations to deliver effective communication to not only the media but also Oklahoma City’s 1,800 guests. She was instrumental in the delivery of daily situation updates to the media as well as the daily newsletter produced for the evacuees.
Following the departure of Hurricane Gustav evacuees, she wasted no time preparing for the potential of reopening the shelter for those displaced by Hurricane Ike. Yager developed a revised plan of action that built on the experiences from Hurricane Gustav. When the shelter was not needed for Hurricane Ike, she continued her planning efforts, this time to ensure that the City of Oklahoma City and the partner agencies and organizations captured lessons learned and best practices through after action meetings and reports.
“Kristy’s actions during this recent emergency situation are not surprising to those of us who work with her,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who nominated her for the award. “This is an example of how Kristy performs her job every day.”
“We are fortunate to have Kristy Yager on our City of Oklahoma City team,” Mayor Cornett added.
Oklahoma City’s extraordinary efforts in hosting Hurricane Gustav evacuees were well complimented by the delivery of crisis communications under the leadership of Kristy Yager,” said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “We commend her efforts as well as the City of Oklahoma City’s commitment to the need for public information during both disaster and non-disaster times.”
Yager is a former newspaper reporter. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, Radio and Television from East Central University and is an accredited public relations (APR) practitioner. Before appointment to her current position, Yager served as marketing coordinator for the Oklahoma Parks and Recreation Department.
The Ben Frizzell Memorial Award is presented in honor of the late OEM PIO who served the agency from 1995 to 2000.
OEM Director Albert Ashwood presents this year's Ben Frizzell Award to Oklahoma City Public Information Director Kristy Yager. The award recognizes outstanding service in the area of emergency management public information.
Local, state and federal officials were on-hand for a briefing from OEM Director Albert Ashwood during this year's Emergency Management Conference held Oct. 7-9 in Midwest City.
Sam Porter, disaster relief director for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, shares lessons learned in responding to recent Oklahoma disasters as well as work at this year's Democratic National Convention in Denver. His presentation was part of the 2008 Oklahoma Emergency Management Conference.