Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) Gave Tulsa County True Leadership During Flooding

During the recent horrific flooding which impacted hundreds of homes and businesses, many public and private agencies stepped up to help those affected. The task of pulling all these responsive agencies and people together to provide a coordinated and effective response requires there to be a single point of contact that oversees the relief efforts. A single point that can prioritize where resources should be deployed, can communicate both the current situation and the expected next events, and answer all the questions from both responders and the citizens.
In Tulsa County, those leadership responsibilities fall to the staff of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA), formerly known as the Tulsa City-County Civil Defense Agency. Under the skillful and steady hand of Director Joe Kralicek, TAEMA mobilized a massive effort to warn, protect, remove, and coordinate evacuations throughout the areas flooded.
From the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Joe and his team brought together the federal, state, county and city elected leaders to stay on top of the minute-by-minute changes in the flood waters and to strategically deploy information and resources as the impact of the flooding changed hour by hour.
TAEMA’s role is to ensure that Tulsa’s governmental leaders, who routinely make decisions on their own, come to a decisive consensus on an action plan to address the state of affairs.
Very few citizens probably know about TAEMA until a crisis hits and the TAEMA team rolls into action. TAEMA provides services which include emergency operations planning, staffing the EOC, coordinating emergency services, assessment of damages, providing public information about personal safety procedures during the disaster, etc. They are also responsible for Tulsa’s emergency siren and public address system.
Educating us on our personal responsibilities to be prepared and protected is at the heart of TAEMA’s mission. They do this by conducting area training all year long, speaking to community organizations, keeping up with the latest technology designed for disaster responsiveness, and bringing Federal recourses when we need it.
Recently TAEMA released a family preparedness app for mobile devices known as “Tulsa Ready,” designed to help citizens create family plans for dealing with disasters.
To stay up to date on the latest information, training, and technology for the management of emergencies, the staff at TAEMA participates in training provided by FEMA, Oklahoma’s Department of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and other sources to keep up with the latest developments in emergency management.
While each weather event creates unique and unknown threats TAEMA knows any response activity will require an immediate and coordinated response. TAEMA continues to prioritize monitoring weather and activate the warning system when needed. Response readiness requires not only TAEMA but also many response partners to be prepared to accelerate operations with little or no notice.
The citizens of Tulsa County are in good hands and well protected thanks to the skills, dedication, and faithful discharge of duties by the team at TAEMA.