OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to severe winter weather predicted for the state.
Because the weather event is expected to include dangerous road conditions and power outages, emergency management authorities recommended issuing this declaration before the full brunt of the storms arrive.
Winter storms, snow, freezing rain, ice, severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding may impact different parts of the state during the next two or three days.
“Emergency personnel are coordinating with state and local officials to ensure we are prepared and ready for whatever comes our way,” said Fallin.
Fallin’s disaster emergency order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
The governor also issued another executive order that waives licensing requirements for vehicles bringing in materials and supplies used for storm relief. Eligible materials are those that provide direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services, such as electrical, sewer, water and telecommunications. Essential supplies include feed, food and fuel.
In preparation for the storm, the state Emergency Operations Center will be activated at 7 a.m. Friday. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with local emergency managers across the state as well as numerous emergency response and recovery partners. OEM, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma National Guard and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation have developed a stranded motorist plan to be implemented in areas of the state with the greatest risk for dangerous road conditions.
Additionally, OEM has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to preposition industrial size generators in the state. The generators 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 size generators OEM already has positioned around the state.
The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Baptist Disaster Relief and other agencies are standing by to assist with warming and feeding stations.
Both executive orders last for 30 days.