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GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES KICKOFF OF McREADY
April 1, 2010 This is seventh year for statewide severe weather preparedness campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Brad Henry today announced the kickoff of this year’s McReady Oklahoma statewide severe weather preparedness campaign – a public-private partnership designed to prepare families and communities for emergencies and to increase awareness of severe weather threats.

On Thursday, local and state emergency management officials, along with volunteer response agencies and associations, will join corporate sponsors including McDonald’s and OG&E, for the annual program’s official launch at Washington Elementary School in Norman. Students and staff will be treated to the McReady Weather Safety Show featuring KOCO Chief Meteorologist Rick Mitchell, OG&E’s Lineman Larry and Ronald McDonald.

“In Oklahoma, we’ve seen more than our share of destruction caused by tornadoes and severe weather,” said Gov. Henry. “At the same time, we’ve learned that being prepared and knowing what to do before the storm hits saves lives. That’s what this campaign is all about.”

The program features displays in more than 170 McDonald's restaurants throughout the state during the month of April – which the governor proclaimed McReady Oklahoma Family Preparedness Month. Informational materials focusing on floods, tornadoes, lightning, emergency preparedness and NOAA all hazards weather alert radios are available as part of the program. Customers will see severe-weather themed tray liners and drive-thru bag stuffers throughout the 30-day campaign.

“We’ve known for years that preparedness is the key to saving lives when it comes to severe weather,” said Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM). “The McReady program allows us to drive the message home and better prepare individuals, families and entire communities.”

In addition to OEM and the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association, McReady partners include the American Red Cross, R.D. Flanagan & Associates, the Office of Gov. Brad Henry, KOCO Channel 5, KOTV Channel 6, KRMG Radio, McDonald's Owners/Operators, MOROCH, National Weather Service, OG&E Electric Services, Oklahoma Citizen Corps, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association, The Oklahoman, Salvation Army and Tulsa Partners Inc.

Washington Elementary is located at 600 48th Avenue SE in Norman. Thursday’s show will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Weather Safety Show is also scheduled for other schools including those in Okarche, Oklahoma City and Piedmont. Shows in Tulsa will feature Travis Meyer with KOTV Channel 6.

For more information regarding McReady Oklahoma, visit www.mcready.org or contact McReady@oem.ok.gov