Oklahoma Activates State Emergency Operations Center in Response to Deadly Tornado

Twenty-five counties in Oklahoma were struck by severe storms that included tornadoes, flooding, and straight-line winds in March 2015. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a State of Emergency for the counties that were severely impacted by the storm.

With one person dead, 26 injured, and widespread power outages, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center to bring much needed relief to the beleaguered residents of affected areas. This pulls together personnel from Oklahoma’s National Guard, Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security, and a number of other agencies. Emergency management personnel are also working in concert with the Salvation Army and Red Cross to feed and shelter displaced residents.

The American Red Cross set up two shelters for those displaced in Tulsa County, and the City of Oklahoma City Emergency Manager requested the Central Oklahoma Area Command canteen be set up in southwest Oklahoma City to serve hot meals to affected residents. In addition, the Tulsa Area Command canteen has been deployed to feed residents of the River Oaks Mobile Home Park, which suffered severe damage and one fatality as a result of the tornado.

In addition to Tulsa, the Oklahoma City area also suffered major damage, and the city of Moore was particularly hard-hit. A two-mile square area suffered a substantial amount of damage with roofs ripped from houses and trees uprooted. Emergency personnel had to clear the trees so that emergency vehicles and law enforcement personnel could get through to the affected areas.

Residents of Moore and south Oklahoma City can obtain assistance with debris removal, and minor repairs including having their roofs tarped through a collaborative effort among churches in the Moore area, which collectively goes by the name Serve Moore. Afflicted residents and volunteers alike can get more information at the organization’s website (www.servemoore.com).

Oklahoma residents who need non-emergency assistance are encouraged to call 2-1-1. Help is available 24 hours a day from this number, and residents are urge to reserve 911 for emergencies only.

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