The recent storm that blew through and potential for this week’s storms made me think about all the things I don’t know or don’t remember about what to do in a weather emergency. Like the brilliant person I can be sometimes, I put our phones on silent ensuring we wouldn’t be bothered by anything. Unfortunately that includes weather advisory’s. I honestly think we have all become a little complacent about our weather safety, it’s been a long time since Frederick has seen severe storms like we have recently. Now granted, you’d think the sheets of ice that blanketed us in December/January would have snapped me to attention. I’m a slow learner sometimes.
So my plan here is to educate us all on what local resources we have and things we can do to stay safe. First: watch the weather reports and take what they are saying seriously or download an app on your phone to keep you advised. Then make preparations accordingly to include flashlights, a clean basement or cellar, charged cell phones, radio with batteries, snacks and water as well as clothes and shoes near the bed if it’s around that time of night.
Second: Stay inside! I know I know, we are Oklahomans and stereotypes don’t typically come out of nowhere. We love to sit outside and watch the storm roll in when in fact we should be taking precautions. Or better yet, let’s get out and drive around after it’s passed through. Maybe run over something and get a flat, almost cause a wreck because we are stopped in the middle of the road rubber necking or flood our cars out driving through high water. As much fun as it all sounds, we have got to stop doing these things.
Lastly: Know where you will go to the shelter and be aware of what you’re neighbors are doing. In the horrible chance that a home or business is destroyed there is a chance of being trapped in a shelter until help arrives. Have a plan within your neighborhood to look out for one another and register your shelter with the Frederick Fire Department. If they know where you are, they can come rescue you!
We all have to take responsibility for ourselves, whether it be our healthcare since we don’t have a 24 hour ER anymore or in case of bad weather. Not being prepared and then expecting others to pick up your slack can’t be the method of operation. There are so many more tips and steps we should be taking during this stormy season in Oklahoma that I haven’t mentioned. Our Tillman County Emergency Management Service is an excellent source of information. I have visited with Randy Hasley a couple of times lately and he, along with the help of many other folks, are busily working on a local emergency plan. This plan will better educate our local leaders as to what deficiencies we may have as well as help community members understand what resources are available during any kind of emergency.
The TCEM is located at 301 W. Gladstone and the phone number is 580-335-7549. The number to the Electrical Department at the City of Frederick in case of power outages is 580-335-3053 or SWRE at 800-256-7973. Smell gas, call ONG and report a leak at 580-335-7539.
Don’t forget to listen to “Let’s Talk Frederick” each Tuesday and Thursday at 9am on KYBE