Strength in Numbers: Shawnee’s Response to a Natural Disaster
Shawnee Forward sent chamber members an update on the EF2 tornado that hit the City of Shawnee on April 19th, leaving many families worried about their loved ones and homes. However, what followed was a remarkable show of human kindness and unity.
Neighbors went door to door to check on each other, emergency responders cleared debris, and utility workers have been working tirelessly to restore power.
Unfortunately, the damage was immense, with over 2,000 homes and apartments impacted, including 231 that were destroyed or severely damaged. As a result, Governor Stitt requested an expedited major disaster declaration from the federal government.
Utility companies like OG&E and Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative have been working non-stop to repair damaged equipment, and non-profits and churches have been providing free food and supplies to those affected.
Moving forward, the estimated response and debris removal costs in McClain and Pottawatomie Counties are estimated to be around $9 million. Citizens can send in their debris pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org to help get a full scope of removal. There are also various resources available for those who want to help or receive help.
Overall, this tragedy has shown what our community is capable of when we come together for a common cause. Despite the destruction, the compassion and selflessness of so many people have demonstrated the true spirit of this community, making it stronger and more united than ever.
Two supply distribution sites are open in Shawnee for residents impacted by the storms. Residents can pick up shelf-stable food, water, baby wipes, pet food, tarps, garbage bags, cleanup kits, hygiene kits, and other miscellaneous items at the following locations:
- Life.Church at 5113 N. Harrison, Shawnee
- Northridge Church of Christ 1001 E. MacArthur, Shawnee
- Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County has a volunteer reception center at the Oklahoma Baptist University’s Green Campus, at 1900 W. MacArthur Street, Shawnee (SEE MAP >>). Those wishing to volunteer or needing assistance with volunteer services can find more info online at communityrenewal.org.
- Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground in Shawnee ready to provide debris/tree cleanup and roof tarps. Residents can call 405-827-2548 for assistance. Find more information online or sign up to volunteer at samaritanspurse.org.
- Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has chainsaw teams in Cole and Shawnee to assist residents. Residents can call 800-690-9198 for assistance or make an online request at okdisasterhelp.org/request-assistance.
- The Salvation Army has four canteens and support vehicles serving more than 1,000 meals in Shawnee and Bethel Acres. Check the Salvation Army’s Facebook page for updates.
- The Mennonite Disaster Services are providing tree removal and mobile home demo in Cole. They plan to work move to Shawnee next.
- A list of additional resources has been compiled by United Way of Pottawatomie County at unitedwaypottco.org/disaster-relief.
ELECTRIC POWER RESTORATION
- OG&E customers may check outagemap.oge.com for your estimated time of restoration.
- The Canadian Valley Electric Coop outage map can be found here: ebill.canadianvalley.org/maps/public/OutageWebMap.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health and Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps are providing Tetanus shots with two mobile strike teams in Pottawatomie County.
Shawnee did lose one acute-care nursing home and two memory care centers due to damage. All patients have been transported to other facilities in the State.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Crisis Care Ministries reminds disaster survivors to reach out for assistance to the mental health crisis line at 988. Central Oklahoma Mental Health Services, Red Rock, Hope Community Services, and North Care are the mental health services for the impacted counties.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department is available to help with any insurance issues. A unit has been deployed to Shawnee to help with claims. Call 800-522-0071 or visit oid.ok.gov after for assistance.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma’s Disaster Hotline is open at 888-602-8494. Residents impacted by the storms can call or visit oklahomadisasterlegalhelp.org. They can help with legal issues including landlord/tenant issues, domestic violence issues, issues with contractors, etc. Oklahoma Indian Legal Services is available to support tribal members. Call 405-943-6457 or visit online.
EMERGENCY PRICE STABILIZATION ACT IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties. The Emergency Price Stabilization Act prohibits an increase of more than 10% for the price of goods and services after a declared emergency. The statute triggers automatically after the governor issues a state of emergency. The law allows the attorney general to pursue charges against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond warned that anyone who violates the Act is subject to facing legal consequences. For more information or to report a complaint, individuals can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit toll free at 833-681-1895.
RESIDENTS ARE ASKED TO REPORT DAMAGE
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management continues to ask residents impacted by the recent storms to report damages to their property on the survey at damage.ok.gov. Reporting damage helps local and state emergency managers better coordinate response and recovery efforts. Residents can report damage to homes, businesses or agriculture through this online survey.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA RESOURCE LIST
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has compiled a list of the partners dedicated to the safety and the protection of Oklahoma citizens during a disaster. Please check their website for further assistance and programs.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 211 from your home or cellular phone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
Shawnee Disaster Relief & Volunteer Station
Who: Volunteers and anyone needing assistance
What: Disaster relief and volunteer station
Where: Oklahoma Baptist University’s Green Campus (Formerly Saint Gregory’s University)
1900 W MacArthur Street
Shawnee, OK 74804
Follow the WE CARE. Signs.
For more information or to donate, visit communityrenewal.org.
Please note: they DO NOT need clothing at this time.
- Non-perishable food items (in bags or boxes please)
- Food for volunteers to grill (burgers (buns, meats), hot dogs, etc.) They have grills but would love bulk donations for those coming out.
- Dental hygiene supplies (deodorant, body wash, tooth brushes, tooth paste)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Adult diapers
- Socks and underwear
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Baby supplies
- Industrial trash bags and yard supplies
- Utility carts