Archive for March, 2012

Tornado Safety Tips

March 22, 2012

Do you know what the American Red Cross says about Tornado Safety?

Click the link above and you will.

In addition to planning before hand, they recommend:

  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
    • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
    • Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.

Do you know where to shelter around your home, church, or work?

Take steps now to develop your plan.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will NOT hit Earth next year says astronomer | Mail Online

March 9, 2012
In Altus, OK, one is more likely to have a tornado hit than to be struck by an asteroid.
Will you be looking to the sky for information? The link to this article gives you information you can use to track.
In the mean time, back on Earth, tornadoes have left many homeless. If it happened here, would you be ready?
Please prepare for three days supply of water and food and three ways to get your information.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will NOT hit Earth next year says astronomer

Help Shape the CMAS Research Agenda — Online Forum live thru March 9

March 8, 2012
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, I would like to invite you to help shape the research and development agenda for the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).

As you may know, the rollout of CMAS will begin in April of this year. Once it is rolled out, CMAS will allow alerting authorities at different levels of government to send text-like alerts to the public via wireless devices based on geographic location. As CMAS becomes operational across the country, the research and development of this system will be important in ensuring CMAS is as effective as possible and continues to evolve to meet the needs of practitioners like you. From today until March 16th, the CMAS Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) Program is hosting an online discussion to bring practitioner input into the CMAS research and development agenda, specifically in the fields of geo-targeting of CMAS alerts and understanding public response to CMAS messages. (More information about CMAS is at the bottom of this email.)

The discussion will be online 24/7 for your input. Your participation will help us craft a research agenda around these questions:

·         For CMAS to be effective, what do we need to know about how the public responds to mobile alerts?
·         What are the key questions that should guide CMAS research and development in geo-targeting of mobile alerts?

On this online forum, you can rate existing focus areas developed by the CMAS RDT&E Program, refine ideas in open discussion with other practitioners, and submit your own ideas for research questions that should be explored.

Log on now and help shape the CMAS research agenda

Building a research agenda that is in line with the needs of the public safety community requires the input of practitioners like you. So please log on and help inform the research objectives of CMAS, and feel free to forward this to those in your network whose perspectives should be heard. If you have any questions, please contact


Denis Gusty
Program Manager
Office of Interoperability & Compatibility
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Science and Technology Directorate

CMAS Background
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) envisions a future where all Americans are able to receive accurate alerts and warnings, regardless of communications technology used.  This vision is being achieved through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).  IPAWS is a modernization and integration of the Nation’s alert and warning infrastructure.  It integrates new and existing public alert and warning systems and technologies.  In partnership with DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), IPAWS is working to incorporate wireless mobile alerts through the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS).  This inclusion is an acknowledgement of the important role that wireless technologies play in Americans’ lives today.  Given the wide use of wireless mobile devices, CMAS will help ensure more people receive actionable alerts to help avoid danger or respond more quickly during crisis—thereby saving lives and property. 

CMAS—developed and tested by FEMA and S&T—is one of the major components of IPAWS.  The CMAS component will provide an interface to participating cellular mobile service providers for delivery of critical alert information to cellular phones in a danger zone.  Specifically, the CMAS capability will provide local, tribal, state, territorial, and Federal government officials the ability to send 90-character, geographically-targeted text alerts to the public.

For more background on CMAS, visit the CMAS RDT&E Online Forum.

Altus Climate Calendar

March 2, 2012

ALTUS: March Climate Calendar
Location: Jackson County, 34.58 N, 99.33 W
click here for help

Shown as March 2012
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Periods of Record
Temps #1904-2010
Precip #1904-2010
Snow #1904-2010
# – large gaps in record
* – Record since tied
Highlight = Mar record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1″ precip
Mar. Averages
High Temp 67 F
Low Temp 38 F
Avg Temp 53 F
Precip 1.57
Snow 0.7
1 T Avgs: 60/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 96 (1923)
Low T 8 (1962)
Precip 0.88 (1942)
Snow 8.5 (1942)
2 T Avgs: 62/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T 92 (2006)
Low T 6 (1922)
Precip 1.56 (1918)
Snow 2.0 (1995)
3 T Avgs: 62/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T 89 (1955)
Low T 6 (1943)
Precip 1.35 (1988)
Snow 0.5 (1917)
4 T Avgs: 63/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T 83 (1938)
Low T 8 (2002)
Precip 0.64 (1992)
5 T Avgs: 64/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 4%
High T 93 (1991)
Low T 13 (2002)
Precip 1.56 (2004)
Snow 0.8 (1954)
6 T Avgs: 63/35
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 92 (2009)
Low T 11 (1943)
Precip 0.73 (1970)
Snow 1.5 (1948)
7 T Avgs: 63/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T 86 (1974)
Low T 10 (1920)
Precip 0.71 (1970)
Snow trace (1995)
8 T Avgs: 63/34
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 88 (2006)
Low T 10 (1967)
Precip 1.25 (1919)
Snow 3.8 (1919)
9 T Avgs: 66/35
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 89 (1955)
Low T 14 (1996)
Precip 0.57 (1994)
Snow 1.3 (1915)
10 T Avgs: 66/36
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 91 (1955)
Low T 14 (1932)
Precip 1.48 (1973)
Snow 0.5 (1948)
11 T Avgs: 66/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T 95 (1967)
Low T 19* (1932)
Precip 2.80 (1990)
Snow 2.5 (1948)
12 T Avgs: 65/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T 95 (1989)
Low T 18 (1998)
Precip 0.80 (1929)
Snow 4.5 (1958)
13 T Avgs: 66/37
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T 95 (1916)
Low T 8 (1948)
Precip 0.88 (1922)
Snow 3.6 (1924)
14 T Avgs: 68/36
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T 91 (1971)
Low T 19 (1954)
Precip 1.50 (1982)
15 T Avgs: 67/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 88 (1932)
Low T 16 (1947)
Precip 1.10 (1981)
Snow 2.0 (1947)
16 T Avgs: 66/37
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T 85 (1916)
Low T 21 (1956)
Precip 2.42 (1998)
17 T Avgs: 68/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T 94 (1989)
Low T 22* (1928)
Precip 2.35 (1961)
18 T Avgs: 68/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T 92 (1916)
Low T 11 (1923)
Precip 1.39 (2008)
19 T Avgs: 67/39
Sig Prcp Freq: 15%
High T 93 (1994)
Low T 20 (1965)
Precip 1.73 (2006)
Snow 2.5 (1924)
20 T Avgs: 68/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T 92 (1916)
Low T 10 (1965)
Precip 1.50 (1985)
Snow 2.0 (2010)
21 T Avgs: 69/38
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T 98 (1997)
Low T 20 (1955)
Precip 1.25 (1921)
Snow 1.0 (2010)
22 T Avgs: 70/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T 95 (1997)
Low T 18 (1914)
Precip 1.68 (1935)
Snow 0.9 (1955)
23 T Avgs: 70/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T 90 (1929)
Low T 19 (1941)
Precip 3.22 (2000)
Snow 0.5 (2006)
24 T Avgs: 70/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T 91 (1954)
Low T 23* (1965)
Precip 1.26 (1920)
Snow trace (1974)
25 T Avgs: 69/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T 92 (1932)
Low T 23* (1940)
Precip 1.23 (1960)
Snow trace (1965)
26 T Avgs: 68/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 14%
High T 95 (1956)
Low T 18 (1955)
Precip 1.51 (1929)
Snow 1.0 (2001)
27 T Avgs: 70/40
Sig Prcp Freq: 16%
High T 103 (1971)
Low T 15 (1931)
Precip 1.80 (1929)
Snow 2.0 (1931)
28 T Avgs: 71/42
Sig Prcp Freq: 22%
High T 100 (1971)
Low T 20* (1931)
Precip 1.40 (1938)
Snow 6.0 (1937)
29 T Avgs: 69/42
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T 96 (1967)
Low T 14 (1944)
Precip 1.10 (1926)
Snow 3.0 (1944)
30 T Avgs: 69/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 12%
High T 91* (1917)
Low T 21 (1987)
Precip 1.41 (1993)
Snow 2.0 (1926)
31 T Avgs: 72/41
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T 97* (1940)
Low T 24 (1926)
Precip 0.95 (1916)

Fire Weather Information

March 2, 2012
Please be aware of Fire Weather conditions.  

Fire Weather Information from the National Weather Service
Relative Humidity Map from Oklahoma MesoNet

Disabled OKC Couple Says They Were Saved By Smoke Detector

March 2, 2012

“Michael and Verna Ellis were sleeping in their home near N.E. 71st Street and Sooner when they were suddenly awakened by the shrieking of their fire alarm.”

Smoke detectors are proven to save lives.

Altus Fire gives them away. Call 580-477-1950 and ask for the Fire Department. Why don’t you get one today?

Sent to you by KC5FM via Google Reader:

via NEWS 9 – News on 1/21/11

A disabled couple says they were able to escape an early-morning house fire because of their smoke detector.

Things you can do from here:

How will you get your warning?

March 1, 2012

Folks in the area are blessed with so many ways to get weather information.

KWHW is the Emergency Alert System primary station for the area.  That means they help get EAS alerts out to others, such as CableOne.  That alone is a lot of work.  KWHW staff work hard at that system working for their downstream partners and ultimately the residents and vistors to the area.  Like many radio stations, their broadcast is available on the Stream.

The local cable system also pushes out EAS alerts automatically.  In other words, when the National Weather Service issues a warning for Jackson County, the alert comes over the TV set, regardless of which channel one is watching.

The EAS is included in IPAWS … Integrated Public Alert and Warning System … which should allow anyone anywhere in the USA to get critical information they need to make the right decision at the right time.

What IPAWS Will Do

  • IPAWS will allow the President of the United States to speak to the American people under all emergency circumstances, including situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards.
  • IPAWS will build and maintain an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive alert and warning system.
  • IPAWS will enable Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local alert and warning emergency communication officials to access multiple broadcast and other communications pathways for the purpose of creating and activating alert and warning messages related to any hazard impacting public safety and well-being.
  • IPAWS will reach the American public before, during, and after a disaster through as many means as possible.
  • IPAWS will diversify and modernize the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
  • IPAWS will create an interoperability framework by establishing or adopting standards such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).
  • IPAWS will enable alert and warning to those with disabilities and to those without an understanding of the English language.
  • IPAWS will partner with NOAA to enable seamless integration of message transmission through national networks.

Residents can monitor the National Weather Service information on the webTwitter, and Facebook.

Also, each of the media pages linked to this blog also have weather information.

Beyond that, the Altus Skywarn Association continues to work hard providing weather information to the local emergency management office and the National Weather Service.  Their new Echolink-connected repeater on 444.650 mHz is available to scanner listeners who can hear them talking to the National Weather Service, area storm spotters, and occasionally stations overseas.  The new system gives weather updates periodically through the day. The Association also works hard to train members about weather and technology.  The group has a Facebook page as well.

The City of Altus has a Community Alert System called Blackboard Connect.  Registered folks can get a phone call, a text message on their cell phone, and an email to their inbox, as well as an automatic Tweet.

Finally, the National Weather Service transmitter in Jackson County has been upgraded to a higher power device.  This radio broadcasts 24-hours per day, seven days per week providing listeners to weather information.  Specially designed receivers are available at local stores.  Sitting quietly on the night stand, the radios alert when the weather service issues a warning.

Emergency managers have been asking for people to have three ways to get warnings and other weather information.

Yes, the sirens will sound in accordance with the County Emergency Operations Plan.  Emergency managers are quick to say that the out-door warning devices are just that.  They are designed to cause one to go inside to find out what’s happening on your AM radio, FM radio, all-hazards weather radio, television, email, cell phone, amateur radio, Twitter, or favorite internet web site.

That’s at least eight ways area residents can get weather information.  Please pick three.