News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Feb. 2, 2022

Oklahoma National Guard prepares to assist stranded motorists

By Maj. Kristin Tschetter, Oklahoma National Guard

At the request of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma National Guard is preparing to dispatch teams to multiple locations to assist stranded motorists during and after expected severe winter conditions strike Oklahoma.
 
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety requested the Oklahoma National Guard provide Stranded Motorist Assistance Recovery Teams (SMART) beginning today and lasting through Friday to assist the Highway Patrol in recovering motorists who may become stranded in the potential storm.
 
At the direction of the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management and with approval from Governor Kevin Stitt, the National Guard will be providing four teams to assist the Highway Patrol. The National Guard teams will be working in the vicinity of Claremore, Miami, Durant and McAlester.
 
These teams include personnel and equipment that can traverse hazardous road conditions, provide recovery of stranded motorists and transport those motorists to safety and shelter.
 
The teams’ priority is the recovery of people and movement to safety, as well as ensuring any stalled or stuck vehicles are cleared from the roadway. Guardsmen will not be recovering civilian vehicles that are not in the roadway.
 
The Oklahoma National Guard conducted similar missions almost exactly one year ago during the 2021 winter storms and is applying lessons learned last year to the current mission.
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