(Tulsa, OK) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM) have requested the help from City of Tulsa disaster teams in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey.
The Tulsa Urban Search and Rescue Team will be deployed to Katy, TX for one or two weeks to provide life-safety services to individuals impacted in flood-prone areas. The Urban Search and Rescue team is comprised of 15 Tulsa firefighters, two Tulsa police officers and seven firefighters from the surrounding area.
Six Tulsa police officers from the Tulsa Incident Management Team will initially be deployed to Texas to help with logistics operations for rescue efforts and will be on stand-by if Louisiana requests assistance due to Tropical Storm Harvey.
The Tulsa Fire Department FAA-approved drone specialist was also requested for four days in Austin, TX to provide help with damage assessment, environmental damage reporting and mapping.
“We have some of the most experienced and well-trained public safety personnel in the country and as Tulsans we know what it means when neighbors lend a hand after a natural disaster,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I ask all Tulsans to keep our police officers and firefighters in your thoughts as they go to assist our neighbors in Texas.”
Field operations for the Tulsa Police Department and Tulsa Fire Department will not be affected. The City of Tulsa will be reimbursed for all costs associated with this response.
The Tulsa Area Emergency Agency (TAEMA) is in contact with ODEM and at this time, the City of Tulsa has not received requests to house evacuees from Texas. If requests are received for evacuees, TAEMA will ask the American Red Cross office in Tulsa to open a shelter, if needed, as the American Red Cross manages the shelter mission in Tulsa County.
TAEMA advises emergency management organizations should not self-deploy to Texas, but await direction from the State of Texas, ODEM and FEMA.