Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Emergency management officials monitor all 77 counties amid severe weather threat

OKLAHOMA CITY — Dozens of government workers and partners with organizations were hard at work Monday as storms moved through the state.

“It’s going to be a long night, but it’s worth our time,” said Mark Gower, director of Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Gower said his team, which was actively monitoring all 77 counties, began preparing days ago.

“We have the National Guard, we have the Department of Health, we have the Department of Homeland Security,” Gower said. “We have our partners in our voluntary organizations that are active in disasters.”

Workers with FEMA were also present at the Oklahoma Emergency Operations Center on Monday. We’re told that was a precaution in case federal resources are ultimately needed.

During severe weather days, the EOC is in constant communication with local emergency managers and the National Weather Service keeping an eye on the possible impact.

“We have an activation criteria and in this instance with the level of threat that this severe weather was to present to the state, we knew that we would need all of the resources and capabilities and services of all state agencies to help us accomplish the goals,” Gower told News 4.

These are goals Gov. Kevin Stitt said everyone is trying to reach safely.

“As an Oklahoman living here my whole life, we’ve got to be prepared. We’ve got to know how to take cover if the meteorologists and everything tells us to do that,” Gov. Stitt said. “We’re here ready to get that response out to everybody.”

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