Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the winter storm impacting the state.
Because the weather event is expected to include prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, dangerous road conditions and power outages, emergency management authorities recommended issuing this declaration before the full brunt of the storm arrives.
Governor Fallin warned Oklahomans to stay off the roads if at all possible.
"The weather is bad and getting worse," said Fallin. "Emergency personnel are coordinating with state and local officials to ensure we are prepared and ready for whatever comes our way."
Fallin's Executive 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.
In preparation for the storm, the State Emergency Operations Center is activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with local emergency managers across the state as well as numerous emergency response, recovery partners. OEM, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma National Guard and Oklahoma Department of Transportation have developed a stranded motorist plan with teams positioned across the state in the areas with 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.
Under the Executive Order, the state of emergency lasts for 30 days.