Weather Service Working With Tulsa Agencies

Monday, January 26th 2009, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It's all hands on deck for emergency officials.  Cities have created emergency plans, the National Weather Service is keeping them up to date, and agencies like the Red Cross are on standby.  As the forecast became clearer over the weekend, a lot of people went to work, activating the plans

The power of the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross lies with the 750 volunteers who are just a phone call away. Tips For Dealing With Extreme Cold

"We have volunteers already in each of the outlying areas ready to set up shelters and make sure all the cots are out, the food is set up, and supplies are where they need to be," said Kaylene Keener with the Tulsa Area Red Cross.

The National Weather Service office started briefing emergency managers on Saturday about the possibility of an ice storm.

"Just making sure that people are aware of what our expectations are and that way they can prepare and plan for what looks like a pretty significant ice storm," said Ed Calianese with the National Weather Service.

Because of the potential for significant damage to power lines in rural areas, the National Weather Service has started using an index to describe what's expected.

It's on a one to five scale.  One and two describe outages that only last a few hours.  Three and four refer to outages expected to last three days or more.  Five is for catastrophic damage and long term outages.

The index and briefings for power companies help determine where they can help out and get help from surrounding areas.

"So, we want to make sure they understand the extent of the ice storm because the assistance they might typically get from those areas, they might not get in this situation," said Ed Calianese with the National Weather Service.