Okla. preparing for possible satellite fallout

Oklahoma City - Oklahoma is taking steps to prepare for any fallout from the U.S. government's plan to shoot down a malfunctioning spy satellite, according to Gov. Brad Henry.

The governor met with state homeland security and emergency management officials Tuesday to coordinate response efforts if any of the satellite debris were to land in Oklahoma.  Federal authorities have asked states to prepare response plans for locating debris and keeping the general public away from it. 

"The chances of any satellite debris landing in Oklahoma are remote at best, but we want to be prepared just in case the unexpected does happen," said Gov. Henry.  "We're alerting first responders across the state and providing them with federal guidelines for handling satellite debris."

The federal government hopes to use a missile to destroy the U.S. spy satellite before it re-enters earth's atmosphere and crashes.  The missile launch could occur as early as today, depending on weather conditions and other factors. 

According to federal officials, the satellite weighs 5000 pounds and half of the structure could remain intact after re-entry to the earth's atmosphere.  The satellite also contains hazardous chemicals.  

Federal authorities are urging the general public to stay away from any satellite fragments and are asking state first responders to help locate and hold debris until federal assistance teams arrive.

From the office of Gov. Brad Henry