May 20 Newcastle/Oklahoma City/Moore Tornado: Post-Disaster Assessment of Preparedness, Planning and Recovery

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 9:30 AM
Room C107 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Alek Krautmann, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and R. Riley, M. Boone, M. Shafer, and M. Deming

Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding communities have been struck by three major tornadoes within a span of only 14 years. From an outsider's anecdotal perspective, it appears that the response to and recovery from the 20 May 2013 tornado has gone well. Given that tornadoes occur relatively randomly and infrequently, this event provides a unique opportunity to learn what impact “repeat” events have on city response and recovery mechanisms.

The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments team, will share information gained from interviews with emergency managers and key decision makers involved in the tornado response and recovery. Under investigation are the institutional and structural policies related to this event in the areas of policy for disaster planning and emergency management. Questions that will be covered relating to emergency management include: What lessons learned from the 1999 and 2003 events were implemented for this event? What decisions were made on-the-fly to respond to the disaster? Policy questions include: Which interagency relationships are most valuable? What factors were successful or a barrier to providing continuity of services? Additional topics covered in the assessment involve sheltering, managing resources and volunteers, and debris removal. A goal of this study and other SCIPP work is to promote planning and preparedness as important for mitigating, responding to and recovering from natural disasters.