Editor's Note, May 25, 11:50 a.m.: See this updated blog post for the latest on our ongoing support for the ongoing tornado response and recovery efforts.
Through our regional offices in Denton, Texas and Kansas City, Mo., we are closely monitoring the severe storms and tornadoes currently passing through Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. We stand ready to support our state partners and the entire emergency management team across the affected area as they prepare for and respond to the severe weather.
As President Obama has said throughout the day, if you are in the path of the storms, listen to local and state officials for emergency information and instructions, and follow local news reports for the latest updates. You can take steps today to get prepared for a tornado by visiting Ready.gov/tornadoes or http://m.fema.gov/ on your smartphone.
We currently have staff on the ground in Oklahoma, and have placed an Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) on stand-by to assist with coordination efforts, should they be needed and requested by the state. (An IMAT is an emergency response team with dedicated staff able to deploy within two hours and arrive at an incident within 12 hours. The team supports the initial establishment of a unified command and provides situational awareness for federal and state decision-makers crucial to determining the level and type of immediate federal support that may be required.)
We will continue to update the blog as necessary, so check back for our latest updates.
With all the tornado activity, here are some reminders on terminology from the National Weather Service:
- A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.