Emergency managers recognized

By Emily Kindiger

In recognition of the efforts of emergency managers, Feb 24-March 2 has been designated as Emergency Management Week.

Canadian County Emergency Management Services Director Jerry Smith in his command center. (Photo by Traci Chapman)

Canadian County Emergency Management Services Director Jerry Smith in his command center. (Photo by Traci Chapman)

Each year, local, state and federal emergency managers remind citizens of the work they do during disasters and in their numerous preparedness efforts. Most people are aware of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the state possesses over 350 emergency managers who represent the state’s cities, tribal nations and counties, many of whom are past civil defense workers.

Their efforts are witnessed in the response and recovery during a disaster through resources, supplies and emergency responders, and in their efforts to decrease the effects of disasters through preparedness such as funding for school safe rooms, disaster exercises, storm spotter training and more.

“As we move toward another severe storm season, this is a good time to recognize emergency management efforts that work to keep us safe,” said Canadian County Emergency Management

Director Jerry Smith. “Whether it’s flooding, severe storms or tornadoes, we all need to be more aware of the threats we face in our community and take responsibility to make sure we are properly prepared when disaster strikes.”

On Wednesday, emergency managers from across the state will meet at the state Capitol for emergency management updates and a legislative briefing and reception.

For years Oklahomans have benefited from the efforts of emergency managers during numerous disasters including tornadoes, ice and snowstorms, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, etc.

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