Waiting to Help

The horrific events from Monday are still haunting me. I was 12 miles north, but it feels so far away. Most people, including myself and Christa, obviously feel a sense of urgency to want and help ASAP. I know many people have already gone down and found a way to help – whether or not they’ve been asked.

And that’s the tough part – waiting until asked. Disaster/Emergency response is a very tricky situation. Help is always appreciated, but uncontrolled help becomes chaotic and can sometimes lead to more injuries, confusion and delay necessary items.

I am working through the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Public Works Association to coordinate placing new traffic and street signs up in Moore ASAP. The wait is excruciating for me, but I know it’s necessary. We have at least two local cities ready and able to make new signs, and at least 1 more entity ready to supply crews to install, but until we can be properly credentialed and/or escorted, we cannot get into Moore to conduct an assessment of the missing signs and then have them created. OG&E is hard at work energizing (and de-energizing) lines in the area, and we certainly don’t want to get in their way. Hopefully we are allowed in soon so that we can establish the street system again and give people a better sense of place. I’ll write more about the process once we get going.

NOTE: I know plenty of people are already in Moore without permission, and I bet I could be there too. Out of respect to the various agencies involved and the City of Moore, we are not going to do that, as much as it might speed things up a bit. Most people in public works operations are ICS/ NIMS trained, so we respect the necessary lines of communication and the directives that come down from the Incident Commander and others, tough as it is.

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