Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced that today’s declaration of emergency for eastern Oklahoma in the aftermath of Saturday’s storms has now triggered activation of the Emergency Price Stabilization Act. After the declaration was delayed for so many days, Drummond is also calling for reform of certain emergency response procedures.
The impacted counties are Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Harper, Mayes, Pawnee, Payne, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner.
“As a result of this declaration of emergency, Oklahoma can act proactively to protect consumers instead of simply waiting for them to be scammed by unscrupulous actors,” he said. “I greatly appreciate the leadership of Acting Gov. Treat, coordinating with the professional staff members of the Governor’s office, to ensure Oklahoma consumers receive the greatest possible protection.”
Drummond said the days-long lack of action highlights the need to reform certain emergency response procedures.
“While I understand there are many measures the Governor can employ in times like these when out of the state, an emergency declaration can only be issued by a Governor who is physically within the state of Oklahoma,” Drummond said.
“However, there is no requirement for the Governor to notify the Lieutenant Governor when traveling out of the state. There is similarly not a requirement for the Lieutenant Governor to notify the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or on down the line of succession. We have seen the unnecessary delay and confusion this creates, all at the expense of Oklahomans struggling to cope with emergency circumstances.”
Drummond said it would take a simple change in law to require better communication between high level officials in the line of succession.
“My fellow Oklahomans in the Tulsa area have been suffering a great deal and deserve the utmost focus and attention in times like these,” Drummond said. “I hope the Governor and Legislature will work to ensure Oklahoma families and businesses don’t experience similar delays when future disaster strikes.”
Drummond also encourages citizens to be on the lookout for contractor fraud and to report suspected fraud by calling toll free 833.681.1895.
Source: press release