Members of the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association (OEMA) gathered at the Capitol today to meet with legislators to review issues facing the emergency management community. In recognition of the OEMA's efforts and contributions to Oklahoma, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 69 designating March 1, 2006 as "Oklahoma Emergency Management Day" at the State Capitol.
"These men and women play a tremendous role in keeping our citizens safe in times of uncertainty and during crisis situations such as those created during natural disasters, which are heavy on all our minds as tornado season approaches," said author of the resolution, Sen. Gilmer Capps, D-Snyder. "Oklahoma has, unfortunately, fallen victim to numerous tragedies both natural and manmade, and I don't know what we would have done without the assistance of the OEMA."
The OEMA works to advance professional standards of emergency managers through professional certification programs, legislative review, information exchange and education programs. The association was created on September 20, 1963 when a group of Civil Defense Directors met at the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education in Norman, Oklahoma, to discuss the feasibility of organizing an association of Civil Defense Directors. The objective of the OEMA is to assist local, state, and federal agencies in the establishment and maintenance of effective emergency management organizations.
"Emergencies affect all levels of government and as we saw with Hurricane Katrina, effective intergovernmental relations is vital," said Capps. "We need emergency managers that can maintain intergovernmental coordination and cooperation in order to protect the public, and that is exactly what the OEMA strives to do. This resolution is our way of thanking this association for their work and to let them know that the Oklahoma Legislature stands behind them in all their efforts."
OEMA President, Michael Galloway, accepted a copy of the
resolution on behalf of the association.