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Featured Tips for Winter:
Preparedness for People
Dee Smith, Salvation Army
Jackson County has earned the National Weather Service's StormReady designation.This is the first time that Jackson County has received the designation. Only 27 of Missouri's 114 counties have earned it.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders accepted the declaration March 2 at the Independence/Eastern Jackson County Emergency Operations Center. "No community can be made storm proof," Sanders said. "But we have an obligation to make ours as storm-ready as possible."
The NWS defines a StormReady community as being "better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness." Jackson County's program is called "a model for others to follow."
"StormReady Designation is something to be proud of," said Julie Adolphson, meteorologist-in-charge at the Weather Service Kansas City/Pleasant Hill office. "It means your Emergency Preparedness people are working in partnership with local law enforcement, firefighters, hospitals, schools, making sure all are ready for the inevitable. We get hit by severe weather every year. Jackson County has also done an outstanding job assuring its citizens are aware of the danger, and there are multiple systems in place to get storm warnings out."
Jackson County lies at the crossroads of America's severe weather, having faced 31 winter storms and four tornadoes over the past 10 years, with no fatalities. News story on KCTV5»
With the change to standard time on Sunday, March 8, 2015, the Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council reminds you that when you change your clock, change the batteries in your smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a working smoke alarm increases your family's chances of a safe escape from a fire by more than 50 percent.
The Metro Fire Chiefs Council suggests you install at least one smoke alarm inside every sleeping area and on every level of your home. But installation is just the first step in protecting your family from fires. Smoke alarms also need to be tested and maintained if they are to continue to be your family's nose at night. Learn maintenance tips to keep your alarms in good working order»
The biggest disaster threat to families isn't floods or tornadoes; it's fire. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. The Cause for Alarm! program is designed to help reduce injury, death and property loss caused by home fires by offering free smoke alarms to those in need. The program targets homeowners who cannot afford to purchase or install the alarms. Families who do not have a working smoke alarm --or are unsure if their smoke alarm works – can call the American Red Cross to make an appointment to have a free one installed. Trained Red Cross volunteers can install the alarms or replace batteries for residents and discuss fire safety with members of a household.
To get smoke alarms installed or batteries replaced, please call the Smoke Alarm Hotline at (816) 841-5242.
Unlike outdoor sirens, all-hazards radios save lives by alerting people who are indoors when severe weather approaches. They can also alert people in homes, schools and businesses to other types of emergencies. These radios provide constant, useful and up-to-date weather information. They are equipped with a special alarm tone that will sound an alert and give immediate information in a life-threatening situation.
Project Community Alert (PCA) is a community-wide effort to distribute weather alert radios. The Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC) has partnered with Price Chopper grocery stores to sell the radios at a special price, $29.95. To locate a store near you, visit www.mypricechopper.com and click on "Store Locator."
Carbon monoxide is commonly known as “the silent killer.” Because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, none of your senses can detect it. CO claims the lives of almost 300 people in their homes each year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CO is a potentially deadly gas that is produced by fuel-burning heating equipment, such as furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces and kerosene heaters. Follow these guidelines to help keep your family safe:
Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? If phone lines were down, if cell phones didn't work, if you couldn't get to the grocery store for a few days -- what would you do? If you had to evacuate -- where would you go?
Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. The time to plan for a disaster is now, before it happens.
A CERT Rodeo is an opportunity to bring a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members or multiple CERT Teams together for additional training or hands-on practice of new or existing skills. It is also an important opportunity for CERT members to network, test equipment and remain active during non-disaster times. Rodeos give CERT Teams the chance to have fun and enjoy the camaraderie and friendship that comes from working alongside individuals who share a common interest and goal.
A CERT Rodeo can be as small and simple or as large and complex as you care to make it. You can offer advanced classes, work on the skills learned in the basic CERT course, meet for some friendly competition or do a combination of all of the above. Learn more, watch the training videos and download a guide to planning and hosting your own CERT Rodeo>
Emergency management officials know that in weather emersgencies, such as tornados, warnings can save lives. But they can’t always rely on traditional warning methods — television, radio and outdoor sirens — to reach everyone. Through a partnership with FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, officials are now able to send warnings directly to cell phones. Using the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, the National Weather Service will send warnings for tornados, flash floods, blizzards and ice storms in the Kansas City area to cell towers that serve affected counties. The warnings will go automatically to any newer-model cell phones within range of the towers. Learn more>
After the recent shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the city of Houston's Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security Department prepared this video outlining what you should do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation: run, hide or fight.
The video is a Department of Homeland Security Grant Funded Project, produced by the City of Houston's Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The City grants permission to use the video in the format provided for its intended purpose only, information and awareness training for the general population.
In part two of the "Disaster Place Theater" video series, our characters focus on what to do — and what not to do — during a fire. This video is part of a series that focuses on the different types of responses necessary for different emergencies. The series, produced by the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee, is designed to share important information in a fun, memorable way.