The Bixby Emergency Management Office purpose is to mitigate the loss of life and or property in the event of an emergency, such as tornadoes, storms, wild fires, floods and man made disasters. We also ensure the recovery from such an event. The Emergency Management Office will coordinate efforts with other City, County, State and Federal agencies to provide services to assist the citizens of Bixby in the event of an emergency.
The Bixby Emergency Management Office is currently staffed with ten volunteer Storm Spotters. In the event of severe weather or a natural disaster these citizens have placed themselves on call 24 hours a day for emergency weather call outs. The Storm Spotters help prevent loss of life and property by providing accurate warning information from the field. Each member of the Storm Spotters have advanced training in Storm Spotting and have also been trained in Damage Assessment to assets in the aftermath of an emergency.
The Bixby Storm Spotters are:
StormReady is a National Weather Service sponsored accreditation program. StormReady prepares communities with an action plan that responds to the threat of all types of severe weather. The entire community, from the mayor, emergency management, to business leaders and civic groups can take the lead on becoming StormReady. Local National Weather Service forecast offices work with communities to complete an application and review process. We are evaluating our program and policies to receive this accreditation in the future. To be officially StormReady a community must:
- Establish a 24 hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public.
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions.
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
OKFIRST (Oklahoma’s First-response Information Resource System using Telecommunications) is a program that provides timely detailed and relevant environmental information and forecasts. The system allows the Emergency Management office access to live NexRad radar and measurements such as rainfall, windspeed/direction and temperature in real time. This system is a great asset to the storm spotters and community because it allows us to see live radar specifically for the Bixby area. If there are multiple storms in the area, which is generally the case most television station will focus on the Tulsa metro area. However, with this system we have uninterrupted access to Nexrad radar for our community.
The City of Bixby has installed several new storm sirens to our existing system for a total of 14 sirens that are placed throughout the city. The sirens are computer controlled and radio activated. Each siren has a battery backup system to ensure uninterrupted service in the event of a power failure, which is common during severe weather. The siren controls are located in the Bixby Police Department and are monitored 24 hours a day. The sirens have a silent test feature, which allows us to test them at anytime. They are tested silently every Wednesday at noon and a full test is conducted the first Friday of every month at noon. The system also allows us to activate one siren or a group of sirens in an effected area without sounding all of the sirens in the city. Some helpful terms and definitions:
Downburst: An intense localized downdraft, which may be experienced beneath a thunderstorm, typically a severe thunderstorm; it results in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground.
Downdraft: A relatively small-scale current of air with marked downward motion.
Flashflood: A local flood of great volume and short duration generally resulting from heavy rainfall in the immediate vicinity.
Fujita Scale: A scale for classifying tornadoes according to the damage they cause; the tornado’s rotational wind speed is inferred from an analysis of the wind damage.
|F0||Weak||40-72 MPH||Light damage|
|F1||Weak||73-112 MPH||Moderate damage|
|F2||Strong||113-157 MPH||Considerable damage|
|F3||Violent||158-206 MPH||Severe damage|
|F4||Violent||207-260 MPH||Devastating damage|
|F5||Violent||261-318 MPH||Incredible damage|
Tornado Warming: Is issued by the local National Weather Service office when a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted visually or detected by radar; the location and direction of movement, if known are given, and residents of the warning area should take immediate safety precautions.
Tornado Watch: Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. as a precautionary alert when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in the specific area.
Thunderstorm Watch: is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, or hail three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater) is likely to develop.
Thunderstorm Warning: is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
If you have any questions about the Bixby Emergency Management Office please contact Fire Chief Steve Abel through the Bixby Police Department at (918) 366-8294 or by e-mail at Bixby Police