As you know, you are responsible to protect yourself and your family. To prepare for an emergency, every citizen and family in Stillwater should establish a personal and family disaster plan.
Here are the six steps that you and your family should take right now to prepare:
Decide where your family will regroup and how your family will make contact after a disaster. (Assume cell phones will not work.)
Make sure you know how to turn off the water and other utilities at your home and at work.
For each person in your home, stock up on at least three gallons of water, at least a three-day's supply of non-perishable food, and a manual (non-electric) can opener.
Also have on hand (1) a flashlight, (2) a portable radio, (3) extra batteries and (4) a first-aid kit.
Keep your gas tank as full as possible at all times.
Read and take action on Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) online publication Are You Ready?
Disastrous events in the U.S. and around the world provide all the proof we need; it is prudent for you and your family to make provisions beyond FEMA's recommended Basic Disaster Supply Kit.
We also recommend that you have a NOAA All Hazards Radio.
Although only a small percentage of these ticks are infected with disease causing bacteria, numerous tickborne illnesses including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia are reported each year. These diseases are transmitted most commonly during the feeding process. Ticks feed on blood from mammals (including humans). In order to feed, ticks wait on grass and other vegetation on the ground until the human or animal host is near. Using their front legs, the ticks climb on to the host and feed.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. People are at greatest risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes from July through October in our state. People of all ages can become ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito, but those over the age of 50 are at greatest risk of developing serious illnesses involving the nervous system. Over 80% of people infected with the virus never become ill. If people become ill, most cases are mild with symptoms such as a fever, headache, fatigue and body aches that go away on their own. Some people may develop a rash on the trunk of the body. In more severe cases, persons can develop meningitis or other neurologic disease.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Zika virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti, and might be spread by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes as well. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya. They most frequently bite during the daytime, both indoors and outdoors. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. Transmission has also been found through blood transfusion, sexual transmission, and perinatal (mother-to-fetus) transmission.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the Payne County Health Department at 405.372.8200.