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Posts Tagged ‘emergency management’

The National Weather Service and Georgia Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with several other state and local partners will recognize next week (February 6-10, 2017) as Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

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Severe weather is no stranger to Georgia as many state residents recently experienced a significant outbreak during January 21-22, 2017, where a record-breaking 41 tornadoes affected much of central and southern Georgia. Severe Weather Preparedness Week is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the dangers of severe weather, as well as knowing how and when to take proper actions when severe weather is expected and hits.  Please take the time now, to review your home/school/businesses preparedness plans as each day is dedicated to a different topic that addresses severe weather preparedness.

Make sure to check out the NWS website and the City’s Facebook page throughout the week for more information on several topics, including:

  • Monday, February 6: Family Preparedness
  • Tuesday, February 7: Thunderstorm Safety
  • Wednesday, February 8: Tornado Safety
  • Thursday, February 9: Lightning Safety
  • Friday, February 10: Flash Flooding/Flood Safety

You can also check out the 2016-2017 edition of the City’s Emergency Services Guidebook for more information on how to prepare for Decatur specific threats.

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Severe weather is expected to arrive in Decatur between 6 and 8 p.m. tonight and will last through Thursday. Tornadoes, flooding, severe thunderstorms and lightning are all possible during this time.

Here are things to do NOW to prepare for the inclement weather:

  • Make sure you have enough emergency food and water supplies to last for three days per person. If you have pets, make sure you have the necessary supplies to feed and care for them.
  • Register your phones for the Code Red Weather Warnings. This system will alert you to the dangers of severe weather and any other emergencies that require quick notification.
  • Create or update your Smart911 profile. Be sure to include any special medical concerns, especially if anyone in your household requires medical equipment that uses electricity.
  • Review your family’s emergency plan, and remind everyone where the safest place to shelter in your house is.
  • Charge all cell phones and put fresh batteries in emergency radios.
  • Download the FEMA smartphone app for additional tips and emergency information.

Remember:

  • Always remain calm.
  • Power outages or trees on power lines should be reported directly to Georgia Power at 1-888-891-0938.
  • The police non-emergency number is 404-373-6551.
  • Have a plan to check on any vulnerable neighbors (for example, seniors or those with medical conditions) during and after the storm.
  • When contacting loved ones, a text message is more likely to get through in an emergency situation than a phone call.

Tornado sirens: What you need to know

Decatur has installed four outdoor sirens to warn the community when such a threat occurs. The sirens are located at Glennwood Academy, Winnona Park Elementary, Oakhurst Elementary and the City Schools Administration Building on Scott Boulevard.

What are Tornado Outdoor Warning Sirens?

They are alarms that will be sounded to alert citizens who are outdoors that a tornado may be imminent. They are not designed to be heard inside a home or other building.

Who decides to sound the sirens and when will I hear them?

Sirens will be sounded by personnel in Decatur’s Police Communications Center when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for the Decatur area or when a tornado is spotted by a member of public safety. The sirens will sound for three to five minutes.

What should I do when I hear the siren?

Take immediate cover. Go indoors to a safe room at ground level or below with as few windows as possible. Basements are usually the best option. If you are in a vehicle and see a tornado approaching, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building. If a building is not available, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries. Stay in a safe place until the weather improves.

How will my family be alerted indoors and at night?

Everyone must take personal responsibility to monitor radio and television weather reports when severe weather occurs. In a crisis, the Emergency Alert System instantly interrupts radio and TV broadcasts to provide emergency information. The National Weather Service (NWS) uses the system to alert the public to emergency weather information and dangerous conditions. EAS warnings are also transmitted on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio. Since neither the sirens nor the media may alert you indoors at night, we recommend that households and businesses have a Weather Alert Radio, which sounds an alarm when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. If you buy a radio, we strongly recommend you purchase one that is programmable with your local county code.

More information about tornado safety can be found at http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Rainfall Amt Forecast

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With more winter weather headed Decatur’s way, city officials continue to monitor the situation. As of this posting, tomorrow’s Municipal Court hearings will be held. and all after school programs will be open. Children and Youth Services is working closely with City Schools of Decatur and an update will be posted here on the Decatur Minute should anything change.

UPDATE:  City Schools of Decatur are now closed tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 11, so all after school programs are cancelled.

Trash & recycling pick up is expected to occur tomorrow as regularly scheduled.

Tomorrow morning’s Red Hatters Valentine’s event at the Decatur Recreation Center is cancelled, as are Tuesday’s evening programs. All Wednesday Recreation Center activities are cancelled.

There is the potential for power outages over the next few days, especially if precipitation freezes Tuesday night. If you have emergency equipment or electronics that need to be charged, please charge them now so you are prepared in case the power does go out.

Please remember to check on your neighbors, and call the police non-emergency line if you or they require assistance: 404-373-6551.

One final reminder: If you have ice melt/de-icer, please go ahead and pre-treat sidewalks in front of your home or business and help keep them clear as the weather worsens. It is possible that by Wednesday morning Decatur could have half an inch or so of snow. Please continue to check The Decatur Minute for weather updates and safety tips.

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City of Decatur government buildings will open at noon tomorrow. This includes City Hall, the Design, Environment and Construction division of Public Works at Talley St. and the Decatur Recreation Center. Evening activities at the Recreation Center are cancelled for tomorrow night, and the center will close early.

Trash & recycling pick up is expected to have a delayed start time of 10 a.m. tomorrow. If sanitation crews can safely get to your rear yard they will pick up trash tomorrow. If they cannot, they will pick it up next week. Please use good sense when deciding if it is safe to put your recycling bin by the curb. If your driveway is too frozen to safely move your bins leave them until next week’s pick up.

While most of the major roads in the City of Decatur are currently clear and mostly dry, GEMA continues to recommend staying off roads. It is possible that roads and sidewalks could refreeze overnight so continue to exercise caution if you decide to leave your house.

While there have been a few minor traffic accidents in the past 24 hours, no one has been seriously injured in the City of Decatur. The community has done a great job of staying safe and warm indoors. If you do require emergency assistance, please call the police non-emergency number 404-373-6551.

Stay warm, Decatur! Photo courtesy of Ashley Hizer

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Decatur’s roads and sidewalks are ICY, so please stay where you are and avoid driving if at all possible. City crews treated roads overnight with salt and sand, but with the low tempatures refreezing occurred. If you decide to venture out for a walk today please be extremely careful, as sidewalks are more slippery than roads in many places around the city.

Today’s closings:

  • Decatur Recreation Center is closed today
  • Decatur Municipal Court is closed tonight. Please call 678-553-6655 to reschedule your hearing.
  • City Hall is operating with very limited staff.
  • The Design, Environment and Construction division of Public Works is closed today, as all staff that made it into work are focused on clearing roads, etc.
  • Tonight’s Town Hall meeting (“Review of the 2014 General Assembly Legislative Session”) hosted by state Rep. Rahn Mayo, state Rep. Howard Mosby and state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver is cancelled. It will be rescheduled at a future date.

The good news is that there were no car accidents, no trees down and no loss of power in the City of Decatur last night. The few people who were stranded yesterday were able to make it home ok. Public safety personnel were able to do a number of winter weather welfare checks on seniors and other vulnerable residents. (And as a reminder, if you have a senior neighbor, please be neighborly and check on him or her today.)

If you need emergency assistance during this winter weather, please call the police non-emergency number at 404-373-6551.

Please check back here later today for updates on the weather and possible closings tomorrow.

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Today’s weather is a good opportunity to re-post the following from Sgt. Ross with the Decatur Police Department:

Check On Seniors In Your Neighborhood

This is not a warning to the community that it is cold outside, we are all quite aware. This is a request for everyone to pitch in as a community and offer something that is free, a few minutes of your time. Many of us prep for cold weather by stocking the kitchen, picking up a space heater, throwing more blankets on the bed and tending to our plants and animals. However, it is not easy for every member of our community to prepare for or endure extremely cold weather. Please take a few minutes to check on the seniors in your neighborhood. See if you can bring in their mail or wood or something else they may need. Sometimes simply being checked on is greatly appreciated when staying indoors gets to be lonely. Lastly, a neighbor may need emergency assistance and unable to call for themselves. If you are caring for an elder loved one or simply watching out for seniors in your neighborhood, click here for some specific tips to help.

The police non-emergency number is 404-373-6551.

Here’s a round-up of today’s closings in the City of Decatur:

  • The Decatur library is closing today at 2 p.m.
  • The Decatur Recreation Center is closing at 5 p.m. Youth basketball and all afternoon and evening classes are cancelled. All Recreation Center classes and activities before noon tomorrow are cancelled.
  • Decatur Municipal Court is closed tonight. Please call 678-553-6655 to reschedule your hearing for a future date.
  • All City Schools of Decatur after-school programs and after-school activities have been canceled for this afternoon. All evening activities, athletics practices and games, classes, and meetings scheduled in the City Schools of Decatur are also canceled.

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For anyone with a court hearing tonight, please be advised that Decatur Municipal Court will be closed due to the weather. Please call 678-553-6655 to reschedule your hearing for a future date.

It is not clear yet if Decatur Municipal Court will be open Wednesday. Check back here tomorrow for that information, and the latest updates from the city as the weather situation continues to unfold.

Current view from the 2nd floor of City Hall

Current view from the 2nd floor of City Hall

 

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Due to the threat of inclement weather, tonight’s State of the City address, hosted by the Decatur Business Association, is cancelled.  The new date will be announced once it is scheduled.

Tonight’s youth basketball practice, as well as afternoon and evening classes at the Decatur Recreation Center, are cancelled. The gym will close early today at 5 p.m. Wednesday morning classes and activities at the Recreation Center are likely to be cancelled as well. Please check the Active Living blog for the latest updates.

Snow is expected to begin falling this afternoon, and roads are expected to freeze. State routes will be the priority for road crews clearing streets, followed by major city streets. Residential streets will be the last to be cleared. City of Decatur residents are encouraged to clear the sidewalks in front of their property.

Thursday garbage and recycling pick up may be delayed, depending on road conditions. Please check back here for updates.

For any issues during the inclement weather, please contact the police non-emergency number at 404-373-6551.

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It’s Fire Prevention Week, the perfect opportunity to build a home map, make a family communications plan, and create a “Safety Profile” at www.smart911.com.

A Smart911 Safety Profile asks for life-saving information about yourself, family members, bedroom locations, pet information and more that will automatically display on the 9-1-1 call taker’s screen when you make an emergency call. These details can save valuable seconds or even minutes during an emergency, seconds or minutes that can literally be the difference between life or death.

Smart911 is private and secure, and you control what information is in your profile.FirePreventionWeek 2013

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Right before I started writing this entry I read Decatur Metro’s post about Decatur High School’s Career Awareness Week next week. Well, believe it or not, the week of February 1-7 is also Severe Weather Awareness Week in Georgia!

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the National Weather Service have a list on Ready Georgia of emergency preparedness topics that you and your family can learn about throughout the week.

There will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, Feb. 4. (designated as Tornado Safety Day) around 9 a.m. It’s primarily for the schools to test their plans, but you may hear the Emory or Agnes Scott sirens go off.

There’s also a potential winter weather warning for some type of freezing rain/snow mix late next Monday and early Tuesday. So get a head start on your emergency preparedness by visiting Ready Georgia, making sure you’re signed up for Decatur’s CodeRED Weather Warning and download a copy of the City’s Emergency Management booklet.

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