Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As for 2008, on behalf of Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security as well as all of the Emergency Preparedness personnel in the County, I would like to thank you for all your support over the past year as we make a concerted effort to continue to be a community prepared.
Lastly, remember that you can resolve to be ready in 2009. There are simple steps that we can all take. Have an emergency supply kit, make a family plan, and stay informed.
Happy New Years!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Specifically, Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security has the primary responsibility of monitoring the weather to determine when to blow the outdoor warning siren system (for more information as to when, click here). The Johnson County Emergency Communication Center and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department provide a secondary and tertiary support for this function in case the sirens can not be sounded by Emergency Management for whatever reason.
So in summary, this emergency preparedness function has triple redundancy to ensure the County is as prepared as it came be to serve and protect out citizens.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
May you be safe, warm, and happy this holiday season.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
“Emergency management officials reported four storm-related deaths. A Danville man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the generator he was using after his power went out Thursday night. Carbon monoxide from a gasoline-powered generator killed a couple in their 60s at Glenville, N.Y., police said Saturday.” (Associated Press, “Progress to Restore Power to Northeast Slow, 15 Dec 08)
We all need to be careful when we prepare for severe winter weather. Be careful when you are using generators because using them incorrectly (or in the wrong place) can be very dangerous.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Johnson County and many of the jurisdictions and cities within the county are currently completing a hazard mitigation plan. Once this plan is approved by FEMA, jurisdictions are eligible to receive mitigation funding from the federal government which helps suppliment various projects.
Hazard mitigation is not just done by the county. Individuals at home or employees for a business can conduct personal mitigation as well. These are actions that help reduce risk within your immediate surroundings. An example would be to properly secure flammable materials or to make sure all chemicals are stored and labeled properly.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In Johnson County, we prepare for all-hazards that are a threat to this area. To learn more about what Johnson County is doing or what you can do to prepare, visit www.jocoprepared.org.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Age Vulnerable (under 5 or over 65)
- Limited Language Proficiency (Non-english speaking and/or illiterate)
- Geographical or Cultural Isolation
- Disability (Physical, mental, cognative, or sensory)
- Economically challenged (within 200% of Federal poverty level)
Some studies have estimated that as much as 50% of any community may fall into one or more of these categories. It is a significant challenge for emergency managers, but we are continually trying to identify better ways to prepare for the added challenges of vulnerable populations.
If you feel you may fall into one these categories and want to know more about what can be done, visit this website.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In Johnson County, the office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security coordinates these efforts with many county, city, and non-profit partners to ensure Johnson County is a Community Prepared! For more information about these activities, visit www.jocoem.org or www.jocoprepared.org.
Friday, December 12, 2008
What is Homeland Security...
According to Wikipedia, "the term homeland security refers to a security effort by a government to protect a nation against perceived external or internal threat." Similarly, the National Strategy for Homeland Security defines Homeland Security as "a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur".
At the Federal level, there is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which monitors these issues and is responsible for preparedness, response, and recovery to natural disasters because it has oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Likewise, here in Johnson County the department responsible is called Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security. However, at the local level this office is not solely responsible for mitigation and response to terrorism, but does strongly focus on the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery related to all-hazards and emergencies that may impact the community (including terrorism). This office partners with many other county and regional agencies such as the Sheriff's Department, Health Department, Med-Act, and many others to ensure an overall concerted effort.
Next post: What is...Emergency Management?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Local governments in the Kansas City Metro (including Johnson County) support it. So consider it next time you are in need of this type of service.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Johnson County encourage residents to use extra caution as they celebrate holiday season. Below are some tips for a safer holiday:
Trees: Select a fresh tree, sticky to the touch with green needles. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If needles fall off, the tree is already dry and a fire hazard. Don't place tree near a heating vent or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Keep the tree stand filled with water. Alternatively, consider using a flame-retardant artificial tree.
Lights: Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Don't overload electrical outlets and don't link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Don't leave lights unattended.
Decorations: All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
For more information about personal preparedness in the holiday season visit www.jocoem.org or www.jocoprepared.org.
Friday, December 5, 2008
1) Make an Individual/Personal Emergency Plan (www.preparemetrokc.org/myplan).
2) Get an Emergency Supply Kit with three days of food and water (www.jocoprepared.org)
3) Stay Informed about emergency preparedness in Johnson County
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
~Plans and Mitigation for Childcare Centers
~Crisis Planning for Schools and Communities
~Small Business Disaster Planning
~Adult Care Facilities
~Colleges and Universities
To access these templates, visit the above website and click on the "Emergency and Disaster Plans Template" (it is the picture of two people using a fire extinguisher). Please share this link with those who might benefit from it or send us links to additional templates that you think are interesting or beneficial for emergency preparedness.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
"The term "Web 2.0" describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web culture communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web."
Johnson County is looking for ways to use these technologies to better communicate with the public (both during emergencies and non-emergencies), create a culture of preparedness, and diversify when, why, and how we communicate. This blog is our first significant attempt in this arena.
Keep sharing your ideas and thoughts about how we might better use these technologies!