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For Release: May 31, 2013 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

State Health Officials Release Preliminary Tally of Storm Services

Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) officials released today a preliminary tally of services rendered by state and local county health department staff in the wake of last week’s storms affecting several counties in central Oklahoma.

More than 6,000 tetanus vaccinations have been administered by county health departments to storm victims and those volunteers and workers assisting in the recovery. These health departments used a combination of static clinic sites and mobile “strike teams” to provide preventive vaccinations in affected communities in Cleveland, Oklahoma, Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties:

  • Cleveland County Health Department: 4,459 doses
  • Pottawatomie County Health Department: 840 doses
  • Lincoln County Health Department: 287 doses
  • Oklahoma City-County Health Department: 419 doses   

Local county health department sanitarians worked the storm-damaged areas to assure public health and safety continued to be a priority, even in a time of natural disaster. The issue of food vendors who were on scene quickly in the storm-damaged areas offering free food and food for sale prompted these sanitarians to deploy to the storm sites to determine if processes were in place to ensure that products and services did not inadvertently harm or put at risk those impacted by the storms or persons assisting in clean-up efforts. In Cleveland, McClain, Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties, the following inspections were performed:

  • Shelter inspections: 17
  • Licensed food facility inspections: 172
  • Temporary food vendor inspections: 23

Persons with health and medical experience, both in Oklahoma and out of state, who wanted to volunteer in the disaster relief response were urged not to self deploy, as quickly after the storms, health and medical staff resources were met. Health and medical volunteers were urged to go to the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) website at www.okmrc.org and register to become a health/medical volunteer. Since May 20, 1,716 persons have registered on the website, and more than 4,600 personnel are now on the registry. About 100 MRC volunteers have been deployed thus far to support temporary clinics, vaccination strike teams, public health documentation, mental health support, debris removal, donations warehousing and distribution, veterinary triage and reunification, and first aid for volunteers.

More than 30 EMS agencies from throughout the state provided ambulances to support the immediate patient transports, rescue operations, clinics, and hospital evacuation.

The Metropolitan Medical Response System, which is responsible for medical system planning, preparedness and response activities in preparation for a disaster or public health emergency in central Oklahoma, provided staff to provide activities including the following:

  • Dispatched ambulances to evacuate the Moore Medical Center.
  • Coordinated EMS unit requests.
  • Helped hospitals locate children separated from parents.
  • Coordinated quick response ambulance strike teams.
  • Coordinated access to temporary water supplies for area hospitals and dialysis units affected by the Draper station shut down.
  • Coordinated emergency clinic operations.

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