Retirees prepare for severe weather at OSU Emeriti Association meeting Feb. 19

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / Feb. 6, 2014) –– A common joke in Oklahoma is that if the weather is not to a person’s liking, just wait a few minutes and it will change.  That old joke is pretty popular in almost every state, but erratic weather changes are an absolute certainty for Oklahoma residents.  The question is whether community members are adequately prepared for those changes. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m., City of Stillwater Emergency Management Director Kirk Mittelstet will present “Preparing for the Severe Weather Season,” which will explore the necessary preparations retirees need to make to stay safe during bad weather.  The program is part of the OSU Emeriti Association’s monthly “Making the Most of Retirement” series hosted at the Stillwater Public Library.

“The biggest mistake people make in regard to severe weather is not being aware of weather changes and not being prepared for them,” said Mittelstet.  “This program will address both.”

According to Mittelstet, participants will learn what Emergency Management is and what its responsibilities include.  Mittelstet will also explain how his department gets its weather information, the methods it uses to disseminate information to the public and, of course, how retirees can prepare for severe weather.

“Stillwater is fortunate to have an emergency coordinator with the experience of Mittelstet,” said Zane Quible, OSU Emeriti member.  “Anyone attending the presentation will be learning from one of the best.”

Mittelstet, an OSU graduate who joined the Stillwater Police Department in 1972, retired after thirty-five years of service with the rank of Captain and the position of Services Bureau Commander.  During the last five years of his assignment, Mittelstet also served as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Stillwater.  Upon retirement from the police force, he was asked to remain as the Emergency Management Director.  

Mittelstet serves in the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association and the Oklahoma Homeland Security Region 2 Council.  He is a founding member of the Oklahoma Disaster Task force and played a key role in developing a shelter support plan for Hurricane Evacuees for the State of Louisiana and Region 6 FEMA. 

As Emergency Management Director, Mittelstet is responsible for coordination of the City's response to emergency situations and disasters.

“The worst times for me are when a spotter reports a tornado headed toward the City,” said Mittelstet.  “After we have set off all of our warning systems and are waiting for the next update, the apprehension grows.  The doubts of whether you have done all you can to inform the public grow stronger.  Nothing is worse than the feeling of not being able to do anything but pray that everyone got the warning, heeded it, and is safe.”

“Making the Most of Retirement” is free and open to all retirees.  It meets the third Wednesday of each month.  Upcoming programs include “Tips to Avoid Identity Theft” by Sissy Osteen on March 19, a tour through OSU’s new art gallery on Monday, April 14 and “Journey through Health” by Janice Hermann and Seungeun Gung on May 21.

For more information, visit http://retiredinstillwater.wordpress.com, contact the library at 405-372-3633 x8106 or email askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).  Visit the library online at http://library.stillwater.org.