Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 5
April 16, 2012 8:45 p.m.
SEVERE WEATHER RECOVERY EFFORTS CONTINUE
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) personnel remain in the field, assisting local jurisdictions in areas affected by the recent tornado outbreaks.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Mary Fallin, remains in effect for 12 Oklahoma counties hit hard by the tornadoes and other severe weather. The declaration is the first step toward seeking possible federal assistance. The counties included in the state of emergency are: Alfalfa, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Ellis, Harper, Jackson, Kiowa, Logan, Oklahoma, Woods and Woodward. More counties could be added as needed.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in the 12 counties covered by the State of Emergency. The 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. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner reports 6 fatalities in Woodward related to the storm.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 31 individuals have been treated for storm related injuries in Woodward.
STATE AND FEDERAL EFFORTS
Today, specialists with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration joined local emergency managers in beginning preliminary damage assessments for potential federal disaster assistance in the areas affected by the tornadoes. The teams are working to determine the unmet financial needs of those whose homes and businesses sustained damage.
WOODWARD DONATIONS AND ASSISTANCE
Woodward Emergency Management is requesting donation of the following specific items: tarps, leather work gloves, flashlights, AA and AAA batteries, trash bags, dust masks, safety glasses, and 6 volt lanterns. These items are being accepted at the Woodward Emergency Management Office at 100 Cooper Houston Drive.
The public is asked not to send any other donations as there is not storage space available.Instead, please make monetary donations to the local voluntary or disaster relief organization of your choice such as those mentioned in this situation update. Woodward emergency management officials report that Salvation Army Woodward-Ellis County Unit is particularly in need of donations at this time. You can donate in person by visiting 1209 Ninth Street in Woodward or donate remotely by calling 1-800-sal-army or visiting www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
STORAGE FOR VALUABLES
Woodward Emergency Management is hosting a storage facility for valuable belongings at 100 Temple Houston Drive. The facility will be law enforcement staffed and provides a safe storage location for those impacted by the storms. The hours of operation for the site are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
DEBRIS REMOVAL ASSISTANCE
Chainsaw gangs provided by the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Men and other voluntary groups are available to assist families with debris removal. Their priority on assistance is elderly, handicapped, single mothers and special needs. To contact for assistance call one of the following numbers: 405-443-7583, 405-388-6912, or 405-415-5261
SHELTERS AND MASS CARE
An American Red Cross shelter remains open in Woodward at the Living Word Fellowship at 1310 Oklahoma Avenue. Health Services and Disaster Mental Health personnel are on hand to assist.
Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and the American Red Cross are coordinating mass feeding in Woodward for those impacted by the storms. Salvation Army is also providing work gloves on request at feeding sites.
The American Red Cross shelter in Norman also remains open at St. Stephens United Methodist Church at 1801 W. Brooks for those displaced by Friday’s storms.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 1,626 outages related to recent storms including the following:
Woodward - 344
Northwestern Electric Cooperative
Woodward County - 381
Ellis County - 901
NORMAN STORM RECOVERY AND DEBRIS REMOVAL
The City of Norman is continuing its recovery process in the wake of the tornado that hit Friday. The city’s debris removal contractor is TFR Enterprises, Inc. Their hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week beginning tomorrow (April 17).
- Norman residents are asked to place any storm-generated debris from this event on the public right-of-way. The public right-of-way is the area of residential property that extends from the street to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement (approximately 12 feet in width). Residents should make every effort to place clean, woody debris along the public street right-of-way and not in alleyways or drainage channels. This should include storm-damaged limbs, branches and other vegetative burnable debris such as limbs and shrubbery. This material should be cut in approximately 8’-12’ lengths and stacked in piles along the right-of-way or within 5’ of the curb or edge of roadway.
- Only residential properties are eligible for debris removal. No commercial or industrial properties will be provided debris removal services by the City of Norman.
- Keep vegetative debris separated from construction and demolition debris, as they will be collected separately. Construction and demolition (C&D) debris includes building materials such as lumber, roof shingles, wooden fences, glass, metal products as well as appliances and furniture. The vegetative debris and C&D may not be picked up from the right-of-way at the same time. Bagged debris should not be placed on the public right-of-way; only loose debris will be collected.
- Do not place debris near water meter vault, fire hydrant or any other above-ground utility. Only debris placed on the public right-of-way will be eligible for collection.
- During the debris removal process, City contractors will collect debris along the street right-of-way. Contractors will have flag persons and signage displayed to alert you of their operations. Please be cautious when passing and travel at slow speeds in these areas.
- The City will make at least two passes along each street over the next three to four weeks. If all debris is not picked up during the initial pass, please continue to place your remaining debris on the right-of-way for collection on subsequent passes.
BE AWARE OF POSSIBLE SCAM ARTISTS
In order to protect those impacted by this latest round of severe storms, the following tips are recommended:
- Be extremely cautious of anyone coming to your home, business uninvited and offering to do repairs.
- Be alert to individuals canvassing your neighborhood in an unmarked van or truck.
- Insist on obtaining a written estimate or contract. Be sure the contract or business card has an address and telephone number.
- Ask for references and check them out.
- Don't be pressured into making a quick decision. Try to get three separate bids on the job.
- Insist on start and completion dates in the contract, and do not pay the final balance until the work is completed to your satisfaction. Be cautious in dealing with a contractor who asks for a large down payment.
- Ask contractors if they have done this type of repair work before, if they will be purchasing necessary permits, and if the work will be inspected. Be sure the contract spells out who will pay for any necessary permits.
- Avoid making final payment until you have received a lien release. Always pay for repair work by check or credit card in order to keep a record and avoid double charges.
- Be cautious of contractors who claim to be state or FEMA certified when, in fact, neither the state nor FEMA certifies or endorses contractors.
Additionally, please be aware that FEMA employees will never ask for payment and always carry government identification with them.
Anyone who suspects fraud is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 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.
BE READY FOR THE NEXT STORM WITH A NOAA WEATHER RADIO
This weekend’s weather once again highlights the need for people to stay informed about their local weather. The National Weather Service and OEM remind Oklahomans that a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio can save lives during severe weather.
Follow OEM on Twitter at twitter.com/okem and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oklahomadepartmentofemergencymanagement