The SCIPP (Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program) Annual Stakeholder Services Committee Meeting was held at the PSO building here in downtown Tulsa this year, and was hosted by Tulsa Partners. Multiple of the stakeholders (including Barry Keim from LSU, Leah Kos and Mark Shafer from OU, Steven Quiring from Texas A&M, and Michael Hayes from the National Drought Mitigation Center) did presentations on what they have been working so diligently on for the past year and informed the group of their findings. The Tulsa Resilience Panel (featuring Executive Director of Tulsa Partners Tim Lovell, Lead Engineer of
Stormwater Project Coordination Bill Robison, City of Tulsa Chief Resilience Officer Mary Kell, and Chair of the Stormwater Drainage & Hazard Mitigation Advisory Board Dr. Judith Finn) was also there and presented on hazard mitigation and on their resilience efforts in the city of Tulsa.
Top picture: Quick working lunch while continuing conversation amongst committee members.
Bottom picture: Executive Director of Tulsa Partners, Inc. Tim Lovell shares information on PPI (Program for Public Information)
It was nighttime on May 26, 1984, and Tulsa was hit by the worst flood event in all of the city’s history. Around 15 inches of rain fell within an 8-hour period, which brought mass destruction and chaos that following morning. No one seemed to be prepared, which resulted in a total of 14 fatalities, 288 injuries, around 7,000 buildings damaged or destroyed, and almost 200 million dollars of damage, most of which was from Mingo Creek alone. This event, known as the Memorial Day Flood, encouraged the mayor and the street commissioner to develop a plan that would reduce the likelihood of having another event like this happening again. Tulsa’s first “Flood Hazard Mitigation Team” was assembled and they began to work diligently on ways to respond and recover quickly from this flood, and from ones that may occur in the future. Currently, preventative measures are being taken and flood awareness education is an ongoing project. The main goal is to get people aware of their risks, motivated to take precautions, and prepared with a plan incase a similar event strikes again. The anniversary of this unfortunate flood is coming up this week, and we want to use it as a wakeup call.
Hi everyone, and welcome to Riley’s Resilience Blog! Over the course of the next few months, I am excited to educate readers on the importance of an emergency preparedness and response plan, particularly as it pertains to local businesses and non-profit organizations. This week, I will be talking about EZ-PREP, a program of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). Here is a scary fact: About 75% of businesses without a business continuity plan fail within 3 years of a major event. Small businesses and non-profit organizations play a crucial role in the local economy and it is critical they engage in business continuity. Luckily, EZ-PREP is designed to support small businesses and keep them “open for business.” This easy-to-use severe weather emergency preparedness and response plan toolkit provides the perfect stand-alone guide for businesses and non-profit organizations to build a plan for responding to operational disruptions. Additionally, EZ-PREP offers a customizable checklist template that can be used by any small business or non-profit organization to create a severe weather and other types of emergency preparedness and response plan. EZ-PREP complements another program of IBHS, Open for Business-EZ. In order to be most prepared for a disaster, it is recommended that businesses and non-profit organizations implement both programs. Look for more information on Open for Business-EZ in next week’s post on Riley’s Resilience Blog. To learn more about EZ-PREP, click here.
Tulsa Partners is proud to have worked closely with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety on a number of different projects. Tulsa Partners’ Disaster Resistant Business Council (DRBC) offers workshops for small businesses and nonprofit agencies such as A Day Without Business and the Open for Business program developed by IBHS. Currently, Tulsa Partners is working alongside the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety to build Tulsa’s first FORTIFIED Home. To learn more about Tulsa Partners’ Disaster Resistant Business Council, click here.
Graphics retrieved from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
Written by Tulsa Partners’ Intern, Riley Brett
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Mason Lillard doesn’t spend much time these days thinking about the EF-5 tornado that nearly killed her and her cousin in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in Joplin five years ago.
But Mason, now 15, doesn’t mind talking about the angels she says she saw next to her and Lage Grigsby on May 22, 2011, after their grandparents’ pickup truck was thrown 100 yards across the parking lot.
Many young survivors of the tornado that wreaked havoc on the city and was eventually blamed for 161 deaths described “butterfly people” they said protected them during the tornado, the Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/1TnNKYB ) reported Sunday.
Among them is Mason, who grew up attending church, and said there is no mistaking the angels she saw alongside her and Lage. She saw them just before the storm hit, and when it was over she felt a touch on her shoulder, she said.
“I thought it was Lage, but when I turned I saw two angels in robes, one with brown hair and one with blond hair,” she said. “It was kinda calming. I knew God was with us and that he’d take us to be with him, or leave us to do something great.”
Impaled by an inch-wide metal rod that went through the roof of the cab, Mason was taken to Freeman Hospital West for surgery after firefighters cut the rod to remove her from the vehicle. She would have died if the rod had shifted an inch in either direction, her surgeon said.
Lage, now 19, was hurt so badly that when he arrived at the hospital, he was taken to the hospital’s morgue.
Emergency room nurse Tracy Dye was sent to the morgue after hearing the tornado had hit St. John’s Regional Medical Center. She touched Lage’s arm as she was walking through, and he “let out a scream,” she said. “I ran and got a doctor and we got him out of there.”
Dye stayed with the boy through surgery, which lasted six hours.
The surgeries performed on the night of the tornado were among nearly 25 that doctors considered crucial, “with life literally hanging in the balance,” said Paula Baker, Freeman president and CEO.
Mason is now a cheerleader at Jasper High School and a member of the softball team. Lage wears a brace on his right leg and has limited use of his right arm.
The two were at Freeman Hospital again on Thursday, when hospital officials unveiled a butterfly sculpture. The ceremony was among a number that have been taking place around Joplin to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the storm that destroyed one-third of the city.
graphics retrieved from FEMA
link to Tulsa World article: http://www.tulsaworld.com/young-joplin-survivors-recall-rescuers-rather-than-tornado/article_7b071895-9524-5891-bae5-68011db2c36b.html
This year Tulsa Partners is proud to have summer interns from both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. You already met Cara Vanarsdel with OU in a post last week. This week meet Riley:
Hello! My name is Riley Brett, and I am a senior at Oklahoma State University. I am studying Economics, with a minor in Political Science, and am seeking a career in emergency management. I am more than excited to begin my internship with Tulsa Partners. I am most looking forward to promoting resiliency and sustainability in the community, specifically amongst local businesses. I want to raise awareness about the importance of business continuity planning. I hope to gain an immense amount of knowledge and worthwhile experience through this internship. Outside of work, I enjoy riding my bike, listening to music, and cooking delicious meals.
Welcome to Cara’s Weather Corner – your weekly weather forecast by OU meteorology student and Tulsa Partners intern Cara Vanarsdel!
This week isn’t going to be any more fun than last week was; the rain has decided to stick around. Thunderstorms are highly likely for Monday and Tuesday, but there is a chance to get some thunderstorms every day all the way through Sunday. For this week, however, we are going to get some warmer temperatures, with highs in the mid-80s. With this warmth and abundance of moisture, severe weather is definitely possible. The most widespread potential for severe weather will hold off until later in the week, and will probably take place around Thursday or Friday.
On this day in 2011, a hailstone approximately 6 inches in diameter was found around the town of Gotebo, Oklahoma. That is one large chunk of ice! This broke the state record for the largest diameter of hail.
graphics retrieved from the US National Weather Service Tulsa Oklahoma
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