Not just 14 counties, but all 77 counties in Oklahoma have been put under Governor Mary Fallin’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the severe winter weather that was forecast to hit the state.
She took the action on Thursday before the storm actually hit the state, stating in her announcement, ” Because the weather event may include dangerous road conditions and power outages, this state of emergency is being issued in advance of the storm to allow emergency management and other partners to preposition resources.”
Fallin’s disaster emergency 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.
Additionally, the executive order waives licensing requirements for vehicles bringing in materials and supplies used for storm relief. Eligible materials are those that provide direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services, such as power, sewer, water, and telecommunications. Essential supplies include food and fuel.
In preparation for the storm, the state Emergency Operations Center will be activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with local emergency managers across the state as well as numerous emergency response and recovery partners.
The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and other agencies are standing by to assist with warming and feeding stations.
The executive order will be in effect for 30 days.