Recent events in the Gulf and on the West Coast remind us how vulnerable a community can be in the face of disaster. Whether it’s a category 5 hurricane, wildfires or Iowa’s familiar tornadoes, the more a community can prepare, the more lives will be saved.
That’s why Byron Jimmerson, the Clarke County Emergency Management Coordinator wanted to remind Clarke County residents that September is National Preparedness Month.
Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can!
Each week of September has a different theme to help you, your friends, and family better prepare for eventual disaster:
- Week 1: September 1-9 Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends
- Week 2: September 10-16 Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
- Week 3: September 17-23 Practice and Build Out Your Plans
- Week 4: September 24-30 Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger
When you go through each week’s planning theme, there are 4 basic questions you should ask yourself to ensure you are prepared.
By clicking on the link you can see options for answering each question through Ready.gov:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
As an added precaution, Clarke County residents should be enrolled to receive warnings and information for Alert Iowa.
WHAT IS ALERT IOWA?
Alert Iowa is a statewide mass notification and emergency messaging system. The system can be used by state and local authorities to quickly disseminate emergency information to residents in counties that utilize the system.
Alert Iowa will allow citizens to sign up for the types of alerts they would like to receive. Messages can be issued via landline or wireless phone, text messaging, email, FAX, TDD/TYY, and social media. Messages may contain photo, video and audio attachments to help subscribers better understand the situation at hand, or where to find additional information.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ALERT IOWA PLEASE VISIT THE HSEMD SITE www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov
SIGN UP FOR ALERTS:
To sign up for Alert Iowa go to http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/clarke_ia/wens.cfm which can also be found through the Clarke County website.
WHAT MORE CAN YOU DO TO BE PREPARED?
You can learn more on how to prepare and be ready to assist in your community by becoming a member of the Clarke County Community Emergency Response Team.
What do CERT Teams do in an Emergency?
Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until emergency personnel arrive.
How does CERT help the community?
In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and workplace safety. In Clarke County, you may see us directing traffic at various running events and during most parades. You may also see us assisting with training events for the various responders.
CERT will conduct Disaster Medical Operations training September 28th at 6pm in the Courthouse multipurpose room. This training will be delivered by Dr. Jenny Butler.
On September 24th from 1-3pm there will be a “Prepare Fair at The Barn”. Clarke County Emergency Management and Clarke County Community Emergency Response team will host a prepare far at the Harvest Barn Market Place. EMA, CERT, and other emergency responders will have equipment, preparedness materials, and vehicles on display. Stop by and see how you can better prepare for disasters and emergencies.