May 21, 2013

Oklahoma Tornado Response

APWA Offers Emergency Management Expertise and Assistance

APWA has reached out to the Oklahoma Chapter to offer assistance following the deadly and destructive tornado that hit the City of Moore, Oklahoma.  On behalf of all APWA members, the Board of Directors and staff, I want to extend our sincere sympathies to victims and their families.

This natural disaster is a stark reminder of how important public works and infrastructure systems are to the day-to-day survival of people and our communities. We recognize and are saddened by the scope of this catastrophe and pledge to support public works officials and other first responders to provide information and coordinate relief in an effective, unified manner.

Federal and State Emergency Management Assistance
While many APWA members would like to volunteer their help, it is important to recognize that federal, state and local agencies are in a response and assessment mode at this time.If you or your agency would like to volunteer for deployment to the area to assist, it is important that you contactyour State emergency management agency to determine if your resource is deployable under the Emergency ManagementAssistance Compact (EMAC) and that EMAC protocol is followed.  A link to the list of state emergency management agencies is available at:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is advising people who want to help survivors to do so through affiliation with the voluntary organizations that are active in the ongoing disaster operations.  More information on volunteering and donations can be found at

APWA Emergency ManagementDatabase Offers Assistance and Expertise
For those members in the region who are affected by the tornado or others needing emergency expertise and assistance, APWA has an Emergency Management “Peer Database” which consists of APWA members who have offered to provide their professional emergency management expertise.  Thanks to the work of our Emergency Management Committee, this information is available to any APWA member at any time on our website.

The database includes each member’s areas of expertise; years of service/job experience; specialized training/courses, certifications; and experience with disasters - from the small, localized incidents to federally declared disasters; as well as their specific area of expertise.  The APWA Emergency Management “Peer Database” is available through the link listed below.  You can access it by providing your username and password at:
For those members not directly affected by the tornado, but interested and willing to share your expertise and help your colleagues, you can volunteer and add your name, background and contact information to the database. Experienced public works professionals are needed in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, training, exercises, logistics finance (especially FEMA reimbursement), and documentation, as well as actual field operations.
Any member interested in offering his/her expertise and assistance can do so by contacting Teresa Hon at or 816.595.5224, or Laura Berkey-Ames at or 202.218.6734.
As news reports continue to develop and those on the ground at the scene diligently provide efforts to aid those in need, APWA would like to remind you that the Red Cross and Salvation Army always welcome financial contributions as they mobilize to provide assistance and support.
Through its safe and well website, The Red Cross of Oklahoma, assists in connecting those who are trying to reconnect with loved ones. Red Cross officials and volunteers are also beginning to open shelters. You can help their efforts by donating to the Red Cross online or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 ($10 donation billed through your service provider).
Through its multiple locations throughout Oklahoma, The Salvation Army is providing food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and storm survivors. You can contribute to the Salvation Army by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), by texting "STORM" to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation, online on their website, or by mail:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 12600
Oklahoma City, OK 73157
The tornado recovery effort in the affected communities will be a long and difficult one. On behalf of the Board of Directors and our members, I commend all of the emergency responders for their work thus far, and pledge our continued support!

Elizabeth Treadway, PWLF
APWA President