This year was characterized by extremely active and devastating weather events across the country; flooding in the Southeast as a result of Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Isaac, wildfires across the Midwest, and Hurricane Sandy which devastated parts of the Northeast and was the second-largest Atlantic storm on record.
As 2012 comes to a close and people make resolutions for the new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging everyone to Resolve to be Ready in 2013
by committing to emergency preparedness.
As we have seen in 2012, including the recent severe weather affecting many parts of the country during the holidays, disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones. Resolve to be Ready in 2013
is a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the new year.
“Resolve to be Ready
is one new year’s resolution you’ll want to keep,” said FEMA Region IV Administrator Phil May. “There are simple steps you can take to prepare for emergencies, such as putting together an emergency supply kit and creating a family emergency plan. Taking these steps will help keep you and your family safe, and could be the most important pledge you make.”
By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, people can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes and businesses. To take the pledge, visit www.ready.gov/resolve
, which includes free information, checklists and guidelines about how to put together a kit and make a plan.
Here are a few important tips to get you started:
- Be informed. Know the hazards and risks in your area and learn what you need to do to get ready for them. One way you can do this is by signing up to receive information on your mobile device. Here are a few agency websites that offer timely information:
- American Red Cross
- National Weather Service
- Make a family emergency plan so you know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones when a disaster strikes. Think about how you would reach your kids at school or your spouse at work. If you had to evacuate, where would you go? Thinking this through in advance will make a big difference.
- Build two emergency supply kits – one for home and one for the car – that include water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or are stranded in your car. This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.
Spread the word to your loved ones and encourage them to Resolve to be Ready in 2013. Anyone can learn more by visiting Ready.gov or Listo.gov.
- Get Involved. Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community. Contact your local Citizen Corps.
Sherman Greer, Director of the Evansville- Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency will travel to New York along with John Pease, a volunteer in Logistics Support for the local EMA, to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts today.
Greer and Pease will join 5 other trained professionals from District Ten of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in Indianapolis at 6 pm today and deploy to New York for a 14 day mission in and around the Long island area. They will be joined by Tonda Dixon, EMA Director in Pike County, Stephanie McKinney, EMA Administrative Assistant in Gibson County, Al Perdue, EMA Director in Spencer County, Dallas Scott, EMA Director in Warrick County, and Kent Winkler, Assistant Fire Chief in Princeton Fire Territory.
District Ten is made up of 12 counties: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Pike, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick. District Response Task Force Ten Incident Management Team personnel are being activated along with District Response Task Force One from northwestern Indiana which includes Lake County and the State Incident Management Assistance Team to join Incident Management Teams which provide command and control functions.
NIMS (National Incident Command Systems) is a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) certified emergency management system used across the U.S. to coordinate preparedness, incident management, and response among public and private sectors.
By using this system trained people can plan, prepare, prevent, mitigate, respond and recover from incidents of any size, cause, location, or complexity, to reduce loss of life and property and harm to our environment. NIMS enables trained government, not–for–profit, and private sector responders from across the country to work side by side during any incident in a predictable and coordinated manner, because the terminology, structure, process and procedure is standardized.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall October 29, 2012. Government, not for profit, and private sector employees and volunteers in the impacted communities made sure their families were safe and immediately opened Incident Command Centers. It was clear this incident was too massive to be handled locally and responders and outside resources were needed. Persons from nearby areas not impacted by the storm were mobilized. Now, 12 days after landfall, resources from further west are deploying to aid in response and recovery.
Like any workplace, staff changes are necessary at the end of operational periods. To preserve staff health and well-being, breaks, sleep, food, and time away are vital. The seven people from southwestern Indiana will join people from other Districts across the country to provide the needed trained backup.
Why should I have a working smoke alarm?
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.What types of smoke alarms are available?
There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization
. It cannot be stated definitively that one is better than the other in every
fire situation that could arise in a residence. Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different, yet potentially fatal fires, and because no one can predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with:
- Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR
- dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.What powers a smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms are powered by battery or they are hardwired into the home’s electrical system. If the smoke alarm is powered by battery, it runs on either a disposable 9-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. A backup battery is usually present on hardwired alarms and may need to be replaced.
These batteries must be tested on a regular basis and, in most cases, should be replaced at least once each year (except for lithium batteries). See the Smoke Alarm Maintenance section for more information.Are smoke alarms expensive?
Smoke alarms are not expensive and are worth the lives they can help save. Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms cost between $6 and $20. Dual sensor smoke alarms cost between $24 and $40. Some fire departments offer reduced price, or even free, smoke alarms. Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency phone number for more information.Where should I install my smoke alarms?
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning, so the U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Some fire departments will install battery-operated smoke alarms in your home at no cost. Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency phone number for more information. Hardwired smoke alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician.Is your smoke alarm still working?
Smoke alarms must
be maintained! A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and
maintained. Depending on how your smoke alarm is powered (9-volt, 10-year lithium, or hardwired), you’ll have to maintain it according to manufacturer’s instructions. General guidelines for smoke alarm maintenance:
Smoke alarm powered by a 9-volt battery
- Test the alarm monthly.
- Replace the batteries at least once per year.
- The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.
Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long life”) battery
- Test the alarm monthly.
- Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, the entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Smoke alarm that is hardwired into the home’s electrical system
Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking
- Test the alarm monthly.
- The backup battery should be replaced at least once per year.
- The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.
A smoke alarm is just doing its job when it sounds while you’re cooking or taking a shower with lots of steam.
- If a smoke alarm sounds while you’re cooking or taking a shower with lots of steam,do not remove the battery. You should:
- Open a window or door and press the “hush” button,
- Wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or
- Move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.
Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake.State-by-State Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements
The USFA compiled state-by-state residential guidelines for smoke alarms. Families can find life-saving fire safety tips required or suggested by their very own state. The guidelines include instructions on the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms. The tips will help families do their part to protect themselves and the firefighters who protect their lives!More info: Children and Smoke Alarms
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --
Six weeks after a string of unseasonal storms impacted Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties, federal assistance continues for Indiana families and communities. Since a disaster was declared on March 9, more than $2 million
in federal funding has been approved for homeowners, renters and business owners.
As of close of business April 12, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials report $1,285,849
has been approved to fund expenses not covered by insurance or other programs. Such expenses include temporary rental assistance, repair and replacement of essential household items and disaster-related medical, dental or funeral costs. FEMA reports 1,389 registrations have been received. Homes are being inspected within 36 hours of registration, and 568 inspections have been completed.The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports
$1,296,900 in low-interest disaster loans have been approved to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profits. The agency has issued 858 home loan applications and 183 business loan applications.
Homeowners are welcome to return SBA low-interest disaster loan applications to the Business Recovery Center in Scottsburg. The center, which will continue operating Monday through Friday,
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until further notice, is located at:
Scott County Economic Development Corporation
821 South Lake Road South
Scottsburg, Ind. 47170FEMA toll-free help line assistance continues after recovery center closes.
More than 767 Hoosiers have met with specialists at the disaster recovery center on the Ivy Tech College campus in Sellersburg since FEMA and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) opened it on March 13.
After the center permanently closes at 6 p.m. on Friday, Hoosiers will still be able to receive individualized disaster recovery assistance through FEMA's toll-free help line. The number is (800) 621-FEMA (3362).
For speech-or hearing-impaired applicants, the TTY number is(800) 462-7585 and Video Relay Service may be accessed at (
800) 621-3362. These lines, through which Hoosiers may also complete or verify their FEMA registration, are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
seven days a week.FEMA Mitigation community outreach events schedule
FEMA specialists have so far met individually with 1,500 Indiana residents about simple steps to reduce future storm damage. Specialists have counseled individuals at the Sellersburg recovery center and during community outreach events held in building supply stores. Events were held this week at stores in Madison and Evansville. Specialists will continue meeting with Indiana residents through next week in Evansville, Lawrenceburg Salem, and Scottsburg. For event locations and times, visit: www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=62016
.*Information from www.fema.gov