GCEM

Click here to register a storm shelter

WOW, what a week. The first thing I want to state is weather related for the holiday weekend. As it looks right now, there will be periods of showers and thunderstorms anywhere in the region. We don’t think any of these will be severe BUT, if any are, it would be due to large hail and damaging winds. Chance for any rain over the weekend will be between 20 to 40%.  High temps will average in the low to upper 80’s and overnight lows will average mostly in the 60’s.

That said the tornado situation that occurred Sunday and Monday just goes to show that when the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center put out the information that they did last Monday, it should be heeded a lot better than it was. There are many variables that play into the scenario that occurred but the tones in the voices and the correlation of conditions that day warranted special attention. Would paying attention more have led to lesser deaths? Probably not. We had just come off of a weekend of risks that didn’t play out here. Conditions were ripe for horrible weather but the cap was a bit too strong. It was quite a bit more volatile on Sunday. We brought our EOC staff both on Saturday and Sunday thinking that we may have those storms but as storms occurred, it was apparent that they weren’t going to happen here.

Then Monday came and the Warning Coordinating Meteorologist in Norman presented our 10 am webinar. I’ve know this man for 10 years and I had never heard the tenseness in his voice as we did that day. He was worried about timing and spoke of the approximate area that storms may occur. Timing was around the later school hours. The rest is history.

There will be many lessons learned on this event and I guarantee you that the way we do things here will continue and will be modified as better systems become available. We will be modifying our NIXLE system so if you receive a text alert from our office and you want to send information back to us, you can reply to that message and we’ll see it come across the boards here at our center. I will have to add this to my county budget this year. We will also be instituting a satellite system that in the event we lose ground capabilities, we’ll still have satellite communications and internet. Phones were even affected here in our county last Monday due to everyone go crazy on their phones. Many folks are realizing that your phone isn’t the ultimate warning device. This is why you see many responders, especially rural fire and sheriffs’ officers carrying a pager. That info comes via satellite and we have attached the paging terminals to our countywide network of communications that are supported by generator. This was the only network that actually still worked besides land line phones when we had the ice storm back in 2002.

All this said, I will be posting a lot of information over the weekend on the GCEM Blog at http://gcem.org/ 

If you agree or disagree, let me know. I want to hear both good and bad and if you don’t want me post your opinion on our site, let me know, otherwise it will be posted. You can follow us by clicking the follow button and when we post something, you’ll receive a notification.

Finally, it really amazes me that I have received so many calls about public shelters. To my knowledge we have never supported these and there are many reasons why. I posted a little rant on Face book this week about this and that lit up the boards both good and bad. I will post that on the blog later this morning. Our shelter registration program for shelters, safe rooms, and or places of safety has really soared this week. It amazed me that so many didn’t know that this program existed. We implemented this in the fall of 1999 or the spring of 2000, after the May 3rd tornado in Moore. I would like to see our media outlets help us out on this to inform the public. I would consider this a major team effort if they would help out a bit more on this. I have, on our gcem website the shelter registration system for several counties around us. I have put the word out that if any other counties or cities want to be added to this site, to let me know and my webmaster will set it up, FREE of charge. The information put into the system will be accessed by that city or county emergency manager. It’s just a small token of what we can do for other jurisdictions.

Have a great weekend and we’ll keep you advised.

Stay safe

Mike Honigsberg, Certified Director

oklahoma emergency managementEnid/Garfield County Emergency Management
E.O.C. 580-249-5969
Personal Cell–580-541-1263
Blackberry- mhonigsberg@pioneer.blackberry.com
Twitter- @garfieldem
Facebook-Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management

HOW “YOU” COPE WITH THE REALITY OF DISASTER, DEPENDS ON “YOUR” LEVEL OF PREPAREDNESS. Mike Honigsberg

 

Ways to get information directly from Enid/ Garfield County Emergency Management:

 

1. Text Alerts from Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management through NIXLE at Nixle or text your zip code to 888777 for SMS notifications. Follow the instructions. This information comes directly from our network here in Garfield County.

 

2. If you want our email updates, forecast information, or want to be on our paging network, email the director at mike.honigsberg@onenet.net and we’ll put you on the list.

INFORMATIVE WEBSITES:

 

Garfield County Emergency Management Website

 

 

GCEM BLOG

 

 

City of Enid website

 

 

STORM SHELTER REGISTRATION:

Click here to register a storm shelter

 

 

Sign up even if you don’t have a shelter. Let us know where you go within your house. This helps our search and rescue teams find you quickly.

 

During any incident or severe weather we STRONGLY encourage everyone to listen to your local AM and FM radio stations. They are 103.1-KOFM.960-KGWA, 107.1-KNID, 95.7-KXLS, 1390-KCRC, 104.7 KEIF-LP.