Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chlorine Training for #OKfire #OKhazmat folks available

Attached is a flyer for an upcoming class to be held in March 2013.  Please notice that participants have a list of items they should bring for class. Pg. 2 of Flyer

Please distribute to all potential emergency response, industry, LEPC, and emergency management partners etc..  This should include Federal, State, Local and Tribal entities.

This is a free class and will be very robust.  Multiple stations and various rail cars and tank trucks will be on site for hands on learning.

There are 2 offerings.  March 20, and March 21 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  More details on the flyer.

Thank You!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why is 72 hours not long enough?

Over on the FEMA web site, proposing a change from 72 hours to a week preparations while Dooms Day Preppers don't seem to think that's not long enough.

Why change?

1.  If you have to evacuate, are you going to carry your six months of supplies with you?  Folks, there are people from New Orleans who have not returned.  They don't plan to return.  They will tell you the bus trip would have been more enjoyable with the 72-hour kit.

2.  Then there are the people who won't do the 72 hour supplies, even with a calendar.  These are the same people who don't plan, don't heed warning, don't evacuate when told.

Why is it the Government's job to provide you an "Are You Ready", a handy 800-BE-READY number to order it, give you a calendar to use to help you build a disaster supply kit, offer training in Community Emergency Response Teams, and then take the blame when FEMA is not fast enough to help you?

When you read that story, why is are the homeowners not using their insurance to cover emergency housing?  Many homeowners and renters insurance policies pay for loss of use, including motel rooms.

OH, wait, they did not heed the warnings and chose to stay rather than leaving.

Do you have your 72-hour kit?  Do you have a plan?  Have you practiced the plan?  Have you helped your neighbor?

Weather Training announced #OKwx #AltusOK #tweko

The spring 2013 OK-First class schedule has been launched and we are
now taking applications for all classes! You can find the best class
for you at the following link:

For all of our current OK-First certified and assistant participants,
we strongly encourage you to apply to one of our 7 re-certification
classes, all of which will focus 100% on dual-polarization radar. Even
if you took a re-certification class as recently as spring 2012,
taking a spring 2013 re-certification class will help you make use of
the new dual-pol data that is now fully operational across Oklahoma as
of mid October (and the entire region will be done by mid April).

As a reminder, to keep OK-First access each agency's Certified
Participant is required to attend re-certification training at least
once every 18 months. While I don't like doing it, we do put accounts
on probation and de-activate them when this requirement is not met.

And as final piece of news to share - the Mesonet/OK-First team is
currently in the process of completely re-designing the OK-First
website. The new site will not be ready until approximately next
summer, but we are putting a lot of work into designing a brand new
data area (that can function on different devices), new training area,
and building a capability to eventually offer some online OK-First
classes. Stay tuned for that!

Please share this message with anyone in your office or anyone new to
OK-First who you think might be interested in the training and data

Thanks for everything you do for our country!!

James Hocker
Program Manager, OK-First
Oklahoma Mesonet

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Who has time for social media?

Over at LinkedIN, there's a PIO group:  #SMEM

and one on LinkedIN

One of the concerns I have about Social Media is, if we have PIO
groups on all, when will we have time to be Public Information
Officers? is the
list of social media sites, excluding the dating sites.

If we say we are going to join only the "popular" ones, who decides
"popular" and when they become "unpopular" for one reason or another,
what then?
is a list of defunct sites, including three Yahoo attempts but it does
not list the announced exit of Google Buzz.

I am on the big ones ... Facebook (hate it but I'm here), Google+,
Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIN ... and still network on email groups both Yahoo and
Google. At some time, I am going to draw a line in the sand.

Have you drawn your line?

Where is it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the "We are ALL gonna DIE!" Department:

N0D - - Special Event Station celebrating The End of the world!

That’s right, the end is finally near. According to one of the three Mayan Calendars,
the End of the world will occur on Dec 21, 2012. To celebrate this literally once in a
lifetime event, Special Event Station N0D (Now Zero Days) will be activated on 10-80
meters and on several satellite passes for three days during and after(?) the end of the
world. December 20; is a celebration of the end of the world. December 21, the day of
destruction, we will be on the air as long as possible. December 22nd, that is a little iffy
right now.

Amateur radio stations around the crumbling globe are invited to contact N0D, who
will be operating from a secret, undisclosed location. Our operating schedule may
be a little erratic as destruction rains down upon us and as long as our antennas hold
out. Those of you who may be looking skyward for the end of the world, N0D will be
operating on several satellite passes.

This will provide cosmic, maybe even intergalactic coverage for the end of the world as
we know it. Thanks to Allen, our Doomsday press release has been picked up by the
Amsat News Service and will be carried in a future bulletin in about a week or so.

You can celebrate Doomsday by contacting N0D directly on the air. Amateurs can also
become an official Doomsday station by registering on our website. You will be given
a registration number and the authority to identify yourself as “Official Doomsday
Station” followed by your Doomsday number.

QSL with SASE to KK5W. If Doomsday actually does happen, we regret that a QSL will
not be possible so hold on to your SASE until the 22nd at least. Check out our website
for a preview of the N0D QSL card.

Amateurs can also become an official Doomsday station by registering on our website.
You will be given a registration number and the authority to identify yourself as “Official
Doomsday Station” followed by your Doomsday number. Official Doomsday stations
will receive the Doomsday Station Certificate.

It is not entirely clear exactly how it will happen. Will it be a cataclysmic shift in the
earth’s magnetic field, Global Warming on steroids, earthquakes, volcanoes floods,
global thermonuclear war, meteor collision, the 10 plagues of Egypt UFO invasion
who knows ? There are scientists, soothsayers and philosophers on both sides of the
question. Either way it will be an event worth remembering.. . .or maybe there will be
no one left to remember it?

More information is available on the Official N0D website,
You can also e-mail the N0D team at Check our website
for the latest updates.

*Editor's note:  In the mean time, Tweets, Facebook posts and Blog posts are scheduled well past the doomsday event.  Why?  Because the clock in the Back to the Future car was set past the date.

Here's the Certificate for KC5FM

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

USFA and the U.S. Department of Justice Initiate Study of Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle Visibility

Emmitsburg, MD. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), supported by the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and in partnership with the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association's (CVVFA) Emergency Responder Safety Institute, has initiated a study of emergency vehicle markings, lighting, and design to recommend best practices for increased visibility to approaching motorists.

"USFA is committed to reducing emergency vehicle crashes and responders being struck on the roadway," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell. "We are grateful for DOJ's support of this important study which will benefit both the fire service and law enforcement."

The goal of this study is to develop best practices in the application of various chevron patterns, creative use of reflective decal markings, new arrangements of warning lights and other innovative designs, all with the intent of increasing the visibility of the emergency vehicles to motorists approaching them. The study will focus on emergency vehicles not covered by existing standards in this area.

"Increasing the safety of law enforcement officers and firefighters is a key focus of NIJ," said John H. Laub, Director of the National Institute of Justice. "Through effective emergency vehicle safety projects such as this, we are committed to reducing deaths and injuries from crashes and being struck by vehicles."

"CVVFA is pleased to work with both USFA and NIJ on this project to enhance the safety of emergency responders," said CVVFA President Michael Sullivan. "Our goal is to support the decision makers in local fire, police, and EMS departments on ways to enhance the emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety of their organizations."

Further information on USFA's emergency vehicle and roadway safety research initiatives may be found on the USFA website.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Community Webinar Thursday

You are invited to a Let’s Move Faith and Communities! Webinar/Conference Call for faith and community leaders on Thursday, November 29th

Make Your Community a Source of Health and Wellness

Join this Let’s Move Faith and Communities webinar to learn about the role of faith and community organizations as catalysts for health and wellness, and hear from faith leaders as they share how they have successfully established programs for healthy living in their communities. 

Sue Heitmuller, Manager of Health Ministry and Community Benefits for Adventist HealthCare, will offer thoughts on the important role of health in faith settings and provide an overview on how to develop health leadership in your community.  We’ll also hear from faith community leaders who have successfully integrated health and wellness into the lives of their congregations.
The presentation will be followed by a Question & Answer session.
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
2:00 PM Eastern
(1:00 PM Central, 12:00 PM Mountain, 11:00 AM Pacific)
Click here and select the November 29th webinar to reserve a spot for this Let’s Move Faith and Communities event
SAVE THE DATE: Our next Let's Move Faith and Communities webinar/call will be held on January 31st, 2013 at 2 pm ET. Join us to learn how to provide families with the information, support, and food they need to develop or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Hear about how Catholic Charities West Virginia transformed their food pantry into a source of health and wellness for their community.

You are subscribed to The Partnership Center Newsletter for U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. Learn more aboutThe Partnership Center.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free #OKwx training offered #tweko

The spring 2013 OK-First class schedule has been launched and we are now taking applications for all classes! You can find the best class for you at the following link:

For all of our current OK-First certified and assistant participants, we strongly encourage you to apply to one of our 7 re-certification classes, all of which will focus 100% on dual-polarization radar. Even if you took a re-certification class as recently as spring 2012, taking a spring 2013 re-certification class will help you make use of the new dual-pol data that is now fully operational across Oklahoma as of mid October (and the entire region will be done by mid April).

As a reminder, to keep OK-First access each agency's Certified Participant is required to attend re-certification training at least once every 18 months. While I don't like doing it, we do put accounts on probation and de-activate them when this requirement is not met.

And as final piece of news to share - the Mesonet/OK-First team is currently in the process of completely re-designing the OK-First website. The new site will not be ready until approximately next summer, but we are putting a lot of work into designing a brand new data area (that can function on different devices), new training area, and building a capability to eventually offer some online OK-First classes. Stay tuned for that!

Please share this message with anyone in your office or anyone new to OK-First who you think might be interested in the training and data access. 

James Hocker
Program Manager, OK-First
Oklahoma Mesonet

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Winter Awareness Day is November 14, 2012 #OKwx #OKice

Governor Fallin advised some winter weather preparedness tips when she
declared Winter Weather Awareness Day in Oklahoma.

Have A Plan:

• Discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or
warning is issued.
• Ensure your family knows meeting places and phone numbers of other
family members in case they are separated when a winter storm hits.
• Know what to do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or
telephones are cut off for an extended period of time.
• Understand the hazards of wind chill. Cold temperatures are even
more dangerous, and potentially deadly, when combined with strong
winds. The lower the temperature and stronger the wind, the more at
risk you are.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make
sure they are prepared.
• Plan to bring pets inside during winter weather. Move livestock to
sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
• Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
• Let faucets drip to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water
valves if necessary.
• Have an alternate heating method such as fireplace or wood or coal
burning stove. Always be cautious using a portable space heater.
• Have your car winterized before winter storm season. Keep your gas
tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary insulate
walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills.
• Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
• To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of
old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out
• Never heat a home with an oven if the electricity goes out

Make A Kit:

• Windshield scraper, de-icer, snow shovel and small broom for ice and
snow removal.
• A cell phone with charger and a battery powered radio.
• Several blankets or sleeping bags.
• Mittens, they are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth
when they touch each other.
• Rain gear, warm coats and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks
and a cap.
• Non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, nuts and other high energy
• Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body
temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
• Sand or cat litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of
tire chains or traction mats.
• Jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit and
brightly colored cloth to tie to antenna if you get stranded.
Stay Informed:

• Know what National Weather Service winter storm and blizzard watches
and warnings mean.
• A winter storm watch is a message indicating a winter storm is
possible in your area.
• A winter storm warning indicates a winter storm is occurring winter
storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area and could threaten
life and property.
• A winter weather advisory means winter weather conditions are
expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous,
especially to motorists.
• A frost/freeze warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.
• Ice storms usually bring heavy accumulations of ice that can bring
down trees, electrical wires, telephone poles and lines, and
communication towers. Communications and power can be disrupted for
days while the utility company works to repair the extensive damage.
• A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph
or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow is expected to
prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
• Depend on your NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio, along with local
radio and television stations, for weather reports.

Be Cautious with Alternative Heat Sources:

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline or
charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage. They produce
carbon monoxide which is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that
kills more than 500 people every year. Use extra caution when using
space heaters.

• Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if
they are properly vented.
• Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch
on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your
space heater.
• Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
• Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
• Do keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
• Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing a
battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and never using generators,
grills, camp stoves or similar devices indoors.

Follow the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management at: or

Friday, November 02, 2012

Free Preparedness Webinar

Engaging Families in Community Service and Preparedness 
Wednesday, November 7th

3:00 p.m. EDT
Plan ahead and be prepared for National Family Volunteer Day on November 17th  by joining the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division and for a FREE Webinar on Wednesday, November 7.  National Family Volunteer Day is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving and kicks off National Family Week. National Family Volunteer Day was created to mobilize family members within the community and is a great opportunity to get families involved in service, including projects and activities that help communities to prepare for disasters. Our guest speakers will discuss ways that you can capitalize on this event and engage families in your community, and encourage those who haven’t yet made a family service-day commitment to do something that will help prepare their community for disasters. Helping others provides opportunities for family members to be role models and brings them closer together, while also making a difference in their communities.

Speakers from the Hands On Network and Serve Alabama will share their own service initiatives and efforts to engage the public in volunteer opportunities and service projects.
Register/Log in 
Register if this is your first time joining the Community Preparedness Webinar Series.
Log in if you have already registered for this webinar, have registered for a previous webinar or if you're user.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Making Social Media work for you

From the Secret List, here's a note involving Social Media during Hurricane Sandy:

As Sandy slammed the Northeast yesterday, one woman from the FDNY monitored Twitter through the night to help people in need. Emily Rahimi, a seven-year veteran at the FDNY, kept New Yorkers updated on developments from a storm that flooded many parts of the city Monday night through the official department Twitter feed. In more than 100 tweets, Rahimi, who was still working at her desk on Tuesday morning, replied to cries for help sent out on the social media service, passed along updates from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and followed up when New Yorkers posted tweets of thanks. Pretty cool. Check it out HERE:
HERE is the link to FFCC Twitter Alerts: 

Obviously, New York City would fall in that area where 69% of their population would expect their government to be on Twitter.  

Are you using Twitter to engage those you serve?  If not, maybe a Virtual Operations Support Team can help.

Are you willing to investigate before your next disaster?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Popular #SMEM tool going offline

Timely is shutting down on November 16th
Timely started as a fun side project back in 2010.
Since then it has grown to help tens of thousands of people publish millions of Tweets and Facebook updates.
We're proud of that. And happy we could help you manage your hectic world of social media.
Unfortunately we haven't been giving Timely much attention recently as we've been focusing on Demandforce's paid products.
So me, Assaf and David have made the hard decision to retire Timely.

Starting November 16th you will no longer be able to access your Timely account.
When we launched Timely almost 2 years ago there were no other tools that would automatically figure out the best time for a Tweet to go out.
Thankfully there are some great alternatives today such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Timely story,
Ethan Bloch
Co-Creator of Timely

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sometimes, it's better to listen

but often folks want to talk.

It's fun listening to AM radio.  For member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, there's nothing quite like the sound that comes from the speakers.

However, member of QCWA are getting older.  The nursing homes don't readily accommodate ham radio operators.

Thus, there are sites like the W4AX remote that lets one tune a receiver so that they can listen to their old friends talk.  There are also other sites connected to the Software Define Radios and Global Tuners that allows listening.  No account required at the former.  The latter has both paid and free receivers.

What does your signal sound like in London?  Are you making it all the way to Colorado?  

While the American Radio Relay League offers a page devoted to AM, the Collins AM Radio Net is one of the more entertaining.

For two-way communication from the nursing home, don't forget that the walkie-talkie will hit the local repeater.  Also, more and more are finding Echolink on their smart phones. 

Sometimes it's better to listen.  How are you doing with that?


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Do I really NEED to use social media? #VOST

At the recent Oklahoma Emergency Management Conference breakout session on Social Media, that burning question was asked.

The short answer given was "No".  No one HAS to use social media.  Nevertheless 69% of folks surveyed said they expected someone to be there to answer.

Having a plan for using social media use is more important that the tools that support the plan.  Decide before you make a Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Google+ account what the account mission will be.

As was pointed out in the conference, social media has three uses:

1.  Team Building
2.  Intelligence Gathering
3.  Information distribution

One of the presenters reminded students of the Incident Command System ICS-300 training.  Where does Social Media fit into ICS?

First place it can fit is in Public Information Officer land.  It's media.  It requires monitoring.  Therefore, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  would be another stream next to CNN, FOX, local Radio, Television, and newspaper.

The second place it could fit is in the Operations Section in intelligence.  Law Enforcement want their intelligence folks in operations to cut down the delay.  After all, the Occupy Wall Street folks used social media.  Would it not be proper to monitor their communications?

The third place to put Social Media would be in the Planning Section, again as an intelligence unit.  This is the "traditional" disaster place for it.

Now that one decides to use social media.  One decision point now is "how to do it".

If a "roll your own" approach is needed, the folks at Social Media for Emergency Management can help.  There one will find a lot of mentoring help, lessons applied, and new strategies being developed.

Still don't have time?  Then there's the Virtual Emergency Support Team concept.  There one will find teams ready to help with specific missons, ex. wildfire, ice storms, tornados, hurricanes, etc.

Either way, are you on the road to using Social Media?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Flu Prevention and Vaccination

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It's recommended for most individuals, ages six months and older.

Get answers to common questions about the flu vaccine, including locations where you can get it.

Here are some other ways to avoid getting the flu and passing it to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits (get adequate sleep, exercise, eat healthy, and drink plenty of fluids).
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you have the flu, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever has returned to normal without the use of fever-reducing medications. 

Learn more about the flu, including symptoms, types of vaccines, and high-risk indviduals

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Living #OKready

Matthew 24:44  "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will."

For the Christian, this verse speaks to preparedness, at a different level.  Yet, many also apply this verse to preparing for disaster.

Did you notice how many faith based groups are part of the Oklahoma Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters?  The Baptists bring their chainsaws; the Salvation Army brings their canteens.  The Disciples, Methodists, Scientologists, and Seventh Day Adventists all bring something.

Do you know when the next disaster might strike?  Do you have 72-hours supplies ready, just in case?

While some Christians discount the need to prepare, "I will trust God", the Son of God said "Be Ready".

What have you done this week to prepare? will help.  After all, this is National Preparedness Month.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Recently, there a Tweet went out encouraging plain language.

Here's the Tweet. It was also copied on Facebook. If Cops give up 10 codes, hams should give up Q-signals. QSL? 10-4 #hamr #arrl SPEAK to me.

National Public Radio makes a case for plain language by describing an incident where plain language communication saved a Trooper's life.

Listen to the local repeater. An unexpected Ten Code might be met with "Is that necessary" or "Ten Code is not allowed here".

So, if Ten Codes are unwelcome, for whatever reason, in the interest of plain langauge, are Q-signals as well something to remove?

While Q-signals have their place on CW, are they really needed on voice?

While there may be no known lives lost by using Q-signals given that Homeland Security continues to address plain language in NIMScast perhaps it's time to look at the issue.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hail - the Star Trek Wiki #SMEM

What can one learn from the "Hailing Frequencies Open, sirof Star Trek fame as it relates to Social Media?

1.  Different channels produce different audiences.  For example, YouTube will not be appropriate for the visually impair but Twitter may be the most excellent tool to reach that population.  Facebook attracts a different customer than does Pinterest than does Google Plus.

2.  Social Media is about engagement.  When someone posts on your Facebook wall, do they expect a response?  Do they get a response, if one is expected?

3.  Social media is less about tools and more about planning.  What kind of results are you expecting?  Are you getting the results you expected?

Open Hailing Channels!  Communication must be two way.

Hail - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Are you participating in #NPM12 #AltusOK #OKready

September is National Preparedness Month and this is the perfect time to check out preparedness events on the calendar and add yours as well. Don’t know how to add an event to the calendar? See the simple step-by-step directions here.

New to the community? Want to know how to comment to a member’s post, create a new discussion forum, or add a photo? user guide provides most of these answers! Find it here at the top of the ‘explore resources’ page. 

General Discussions: Use this discussion forum to discuss preparedness related topics of your choice.
Introduce Yourself: Use this discussion forum to introduce yourself.

Help and Technical Support: Use this forum to submit questions about how to use this site and report technical issues.
  • Region I: Donald discusses the effectiveness of using the cartoon called The Flat Family (husband Stanley, wife Stella) as a mechanism for youth to affect change in the way adults think about preparedness. You don’t want to miss this!
  • Region II: Eric distributes the contact information for the POC for Citizen Corps and CERT for a few states.
  • Region III: FEMA announces its first youth preparedness council.
  • Region IV: Do you live in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, or Mississippi? You are Region IV! Please start a new discussion and introduce yourself!
  • Region V: Carl expresses his interest in coming together and have a training exercise on Disaster Response and Radio Communications.
  • Region VI: Chad, of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management urges Arkansas members to register for Ready Arkansas for National Preparedness Month.
  • Region VII: Tom introduces himself as the FEMA Region VII Community Preparedness Officer and welcomes new members.
  • Region VIII: Do you live in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Montana? You are Region VIII! Please start a new discussion and introduce yourself!
  • Region IX: Annette, a Northeast Nevada Citizen Corps Coordinator, shares a few of the events/ideas that her area will be hosting for National Preparedness Month. Get some great ideas for your area!
  • Region X: Judy is looking for more discussion participation from members in her region!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Youth Preparedness initiative

Today, FEMA announced the formation of its first Youth Preparedness Council. The Council supports FEMA’s emphasis on and dedication to involving the whole community in preparedness related activities.  

FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council is a unique opportunity for a select group of youth leaders to serve on a highly distinguished national council and to voice their opinions, experiences, ideas and solutions to help strengthen the nation’s resiliency for all types of disasters. Nominated by individuals who can attest to their preparedness activities, Council members demonstrate a willingness to represent the youth perspective on emergency preparedness and take information back to their communities to share it.

“Engaging youth is an integral step in preparing the nation for all hazards,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Youth have a unique ability to influence their peers and families to be more resilient, and children play an important role in disaster preparedness, during and after a crisis.”

Children comprise approximately 25 percent of our nation’s population and are the future of our communities. They can play an important role in disaster preparedness and each have the unique ability to help their communities be safer, stronger and more resilient before, during and after a disaster or emergency event. As such, we all have a vested interest in engaging and empowering youth to become active participants in individual, family, and community preparedness. Research states that:

  • Youth who are trained in preparedness are more resilient in actual disasters.
  • Youth are highly effective messengers for reaching and influencing parents and other adults.
  • Youth who are engaged today will ensure a future generation of prepared adults.

Additionally, youth have proven to be positive influencers, leaders, and first responders to their families, peers, and neighbors when they take the preparedness message home.  The Youth Preparedness Council will provide a venue to engage an often overlooked population and take into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. 

The Youth Preparedness Council is comprised of 13 diverse leaders (13 – 17 years of age) from across FEMA’s ten regions and who are:

  • dedicated to public service;
  • making a difference in their community; and
  • expanding their impact as a national advocate for youth preparedness.

The distinguished members selected are as follows:

  • FEMA Region I:  Rachel Little (Massachusetts)
  • FEMA Region II:  Gabriela Rodriguez Boria (Puerto Rico)
  • FEMA Region III:  Donald “Diesel” Embrey (Virginia)
  • FEMA Region IV:  Benjamin Cooke (Tennessee)
  • FEMA Region V:  Jason Reed (Indiana)
  • FEMA Region VI:  Dorian Tre’Vaughn Gregory (Louisiana)
  • FEMA Region VI:  Jonathan DeLong (Texas)
  • FEMA Region VII:  Nimansha Jain (Nebraska)
  • FEMA Region VIII:  Ashley Houston (Utah)
  • FEMA Region IX:  Divya Saini (California)
  • FEMA Region IX:  Tiffany Espensen (California)
  • FEMA Region IX:  Christian Chowen (Hawaii)
  • FEMA Region X:  Cayman Kirkhart (Idaho)

This year council members will have the opportunity to participate in a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington D.C. where they will advise and ask questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of national organizations working on this critical priority. It is also expected that members will meet with FEMA on a quarterly basis via conference call or webinar and provide ongoing input on strategies and initiatives. Council members are eligible to serve on the Council for two years.

To learn more about FEMA’s youth preparedness efforts please visit:

Together, we can make the Nation more resilient and secure.

How hot is it? #OKwx

It Is Soooo Hot in #Oklahoma That:

The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

The trees are whistling for the dogs.

The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Hot water now comes out of both taps.

You can make sun tea instantly.

You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.

You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

You burn your hand opening the car door.

You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 am.

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

Potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper, sour cream, diced onions and a few serving spoons of chili.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.

The cows are giving evaporated milk.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Mobile Marketing" get a head start in #AltusOK

"Mobile Marketing" by Ethan Hale
Monday August 6, 2012
Room 102, SWTC
Cost $50 (registration deadline: noon August 3)

Mobile marketing is trending hot, and only continues to grow at wild
rates. There are more mobile users than laptop users, and people are
buying, discussing, and searching for products like yours all the time
via mobile devices.

The uses and value of mobile web sites and mobile apps are phenomenal.
What other form of advertising can you come up with a concept in the
morning and have buyers responding to your call to action that very

Features & Benefits
· Personal interactivity in no-pressure setting
· Leverages buyer impulses on the most important device of their lives
· Can be applied to almost any industry or niche
· Messages are delivered fast, and nearly almost opened & read quickly
· Urgent announcements can instantly be drafted and delivered
· Subscribers can choose content preferences
· Integrates with other marketing campaigns & platforms
· Enables easy and convenient brand interaction
People looking via mobile are motivated buyers! They want what you have.

Attend this seminar/training and discover ways to integrate this
technology into your own company. You will learn how to create your
own mobile website and how to build your first app.

CRegister today. 580-480-4723 or

Thursday, July 19, 2012

USFA Releases Report on Fire Service Operations

EMMITSBURG, MD – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has completed a review of fire service operations surrounding the challenges faced in April 2011 as fire departments in the southeastern United States responded to a significant weather event.

On April 27, 2011, a devastating series of tornados struck Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The dollar loss has been roughly tallied at $6 billion in insured losses and a total of over $10 billion for all losses. An estimated 336 lives were lost in the region's tornados and related events, with 239 of those in Alabama. At least 10,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed and dozens of public facilities were rendered inoperative. Many areas that were isolated by road closures and power outages extended over two weeks in some rural areas. At least five tornados were rated at EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

A series of meetings was held in the summer of 2011 to look at fire department and emergency medical services (EMS) organization activities in Alabama and Georgia during the tornados. Over 50 representatives of impacted departments attended and each had an opportunity to respond to specific questions as well as provide a free range of their own inputs.

The report, Fire Service Operations for the Southeastern Tornados – April 2011 (PDF,1.5 Mb), condenses those meetings and inputs and provides an insight into the routines, challenges and needs of local fire and EMS agencies during preparation for, response to and recovery from, natural disasters. It serves as a benchmark to provide USFA an opportunity for evaluation to ensure we are providing the services that the first responder community requires for success, as well as to guide directions for future activities.

A copy of the report is available on the USFA website at under the Publications section.

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