Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
January 31, 2011 – 11 a.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
WINTER STORM TO IMPACT STATE
Due to the approaching winter storm, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated and officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are working with numerous emergency response, recovery partners to take steps in advance of threatened impacts.
A winter storm is on track to impact the state tonight through Wednesday. Widespread significant accumulations of snow and sleet are likely across central and eastern Oklahoma with some forecasts calling for upwards of 8 to 12 inches of snow in the northeast. Other areas will experience lesser amounts of winter precipitation. Strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures the next few days will create dangerous travel and exposure conditions.
Over the weekend OEM secured from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) industrial size generators along with bottled water, MREs (meals ready to eat), cots and blankets. The resources 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 e 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 in opening shelters and mass feeding sites if necessary.
OKLAHOMANS SHOULD MAKE FINAL PREPARATIONS NOW
Oklahomans are urged to take the steps now to prepare for the storm’s anticipated arrival later today. Once the storm arrives, please heed the recommendation of public safety and transportation officials regarding travel conditions.
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.
- Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water valves if necessary.
- Keep your gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
Make A Kit:
- A cell phone with charger and a battery powered radio.
- Windshield scraper, deicer, 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 “munchies.”
- 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.
- 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