Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 2
September 1, 2017 11:30 a.m.
OKLAHOMA SUPPORT FOR HARVEY
State and local officials continue to support neighboring states impacted by the ongoing flooding caused by Tropical Depression Harvey. Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are working with FEMA, officials in Texas and Louisiana, and many Oklahoma state, local, tribal and voluntary agencies listed in this update to provide assistance as needed. The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency for Oklahoma remains in effect so that state, county, and local governments can adequately respond to the mutual aid requests and needs of the Gulf Coast states. Under the Executive Order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.
Two OEM staff members will be supporting the Texas Division of Emergency Management in Austin for the following week to assist with additional out of state resource requests and with emergency operations center data management.
Twenty-nine swift water and Urban Search and Rescue teams and one Incident Management Team continue to respond in Texas.
Personnel are deployed through the Interstate Emergency Response Support Plan, a regional mutual aid agreement for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 states, and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC is a national mutual aid system that allows states to send personnel, equipment and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states.
AVOID CHARITY SCAMS
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter today is warning Oklahomans of charity fraud and other scams in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Before donating, one of the easiest ways to find out if a charity is registered to solicit donations in Oklahoma is to look it up on the secretary of state’s website at: www.sos.ok.gov/charity/, or by calling (405) 521-3912. Charities looking to solicit donations in Oklahoma must be registered through the secretary of state.
Additionally, the attorney general’s consumer protection unit offers the following guidelines to avoid becoming a victim of charity fraud.
- Donate only to charities that you know and trust;
- Be wary of charities that seem to have been formed specifically in response to a particular disaster;
- Ask for written information regarding the solicitor’s charity, including the name, mission, administrative costs and how your donation will be used;
- Listen carefully to the name of the purported charity. Scam artists often claim to be associated with a charity that mimics the name of a well-known, reputable organization;
- Be suspicious of any solicitor that uses high pressure or aggressive tactics, asks for donations in cash or promises prizes in exchange for a donation.
For more information and tips on how to select a charity, visit www.charitywatch.org. To report suspected fraud or scams, contact the attorney general’s public protection unit at (405) 521-2029 and local law enforcement.
HOW CAN OKLAHOMANS HELP?
Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) offers the following tips:
When disaster strikes, the best way to support survivors of emergencies or disasters in Oklahoma is with cash donations to reputable voluntary organizations. Cash donations allow relief organizations or survivors to purchase what they need, when and where they need it. Buying supplies locally helps the local community recover by helping local businesses pay salaries and by keeping tax revenues in the community.
Do not send unsolicited donations of used clothing, miscellaneous items or perishable foods, which must be sorted, warehoused, transported and distributed. This requires more efforts and staffing to manage those resources and takes away from recovery efforts. If you must donate in-kind goods, make certain that they are specifically requested and needed by recognized organizations.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER
For Oklahomans who wish to volunteer in response to Harvey, please visit the websites for the Texas and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for a list of dozens of faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations that include volunteer engagement as a key component of their operations.
Please be patient and do not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
The Emergency Price Stabilization Act is in effect for all 77 counties, which prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent for the price of goods and services after a declared emergency. Additionally, the act allows the attorney general to pursue charges against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging.
The act is in effect for 30 days after the State of Emergency. It remains in effect for another 180 days for prices for repairs, remodeling and construction. For more information or to report a complaint, individuals are encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Unit by phone at (405) 521-2029, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.