Oklahoma gets high marks from feds

Monday, March 7th 2005, 2:28 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma has become the third state in the nation to have an enhanced plan to deal with natural hazards approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Brad Henry said Monday.

As a result, the state will qualify for significantly higher Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding after presidentially declared disasters.

``These funds represent the tireless efforts of emergency managers all across the state, so it is particularly fitting that I make this announcement during Oklahoma Emergency Management Week,'' Henry said.

``Oklahomans know all too well the devastation that can be left behind following Mother Nature's fury,'' the governor said. ``We can't avoid ice storms, tornadoes or floods, but we can mitigate their effects. Approval of the enhanced plan allows Oklahoma to be even better prepared.''

The plan contains an analysis of the state's natural hazards, assessment of risks and proposals to deal with disasters.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is responsible for design and administration of the plan. In the last six years, Oklahoma has received more than $350 million in federal disaster aid, plus $75 million in HMGP funds, which have been used for such things as safe rooms and weather radios in schools.