PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Dwyer   
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 07:25


FEMA Launches New Feature to Mobile App Empowering Users to Follow Weather Alerts Across the Country

Release date: April 14, 2015.

Release Number: HQ-15-017.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a new feature to its free app that will enable users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation. This new feature allows users to receive alerts on severe weather happening anywhere they select in the country, even if the phone is not located in the area, making it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends.

“Emergency responders and disaster survivors are increasingly turning to mobile devices to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters,” said Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator. “This new feature empowers individuals to assist and support family and friends before, during, and after a severe weather event.”

“Every minute counts when severe weather threatens and mobile apps are an essential way to immediately receive the life-saving warnings provided by NOAA’s National Weather Service,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator.  “These alerts are another tool in our toolbox as we work to build a ‘Weather Ready Nation’ – a nation that’s ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather events.”

According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans have used their smartphone to look up government services or information. Additionally, a majority of smartphone owners use their devices to keep up to date with breaking news, and to be informed about what is happening in their community.

The new weather alert feature adds to the app’s existing features to help Americans through emergencies. In addition to this upgrade, the app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters. The FEMA app also offers a “Disaster Reporter” feature, where users can upload and share photos of disaster damage.

Some other key features of the app include:
•Safety Tips: Tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
•Disaster Reporter: Users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts
•Maps of Disaster Resources: Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers
•Apply for Assistance: The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance
•Information in Spanish: The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language

The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.  Users who already have the app downloaded on their device should download the latest update for the weather alerts feature to take effect. The new weather alerts feature in the FEMA app does not replace Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) function available on many new smartphones. WEAs have a special tone and vibration and are sent for emergencies such as extreme weather, AMBER alerts, or Presidential Alerts.

To learn more about the FEMA app, visit: The FEMA App: Helping Your Family Weather the Storm.




 
PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Dwyer   
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 09:13

IEMA Encourages People to Stay Aware, Be Prepared
for Potential Severe Weather This Week

Heavy rainfall, dangerous thunderstorms possible for most
of Illinois Wednesday night through Thursday night

SPRINGFIELD – With widespread severe weather predicted for most of Illinois Wednesday night through Thursday night, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued.

“This major storm system could bring localized flooding from heavy rains, severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and large hail, and even a chance for tornadoes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We want everyone to stay aware, be prepared to seek shelter if a storm warning is issued, and to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown” if they encounter a flooded road.”

Joseph said people should have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts, weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.

Some storms are expected Wednesday and Thursday during the evening and overnight hours, an especially dangerous time since most people are asleep at those times. That’s why it’s important to be able to receive severe weather warnings day or night. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your location, even if you’re traveling outside your home county or state. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.

In addition, many communities have outdoor warning sirens, which can alert people outdoors of an approaching hazard. Don’t rely on these sirens to alert you when you’re inside a building or asleep.

For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 
PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Dwyer   
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:35


Don’t Forget Pets When Planning for Disasters

IEMA, local emergency management agencies to focus on pet preparedness throughout April

SPRINGFIELD – Pets are treasured family members in more than half of Illinois households. If your family includes a dog, cat, hamster or other furry, feathered or scaly friends, don’t forget to include their unique needs in your home emergency plans.

That’s the message the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote throughout April as part of Pet Preparedness Month in Illinois.

“Every home should have an emergency supply kit and plans for how to stay safe when disaster strikes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Make sure your kit and emergency plans address the needs of every family member, including your pets. Your preparedness efforts today can help keep everyone in your family, including your pets, safe when disaster strikes.”

Joseph said home emergency supply kits for people should include a three-day supply of such items as food, water, first aid kit, weather alert radio, flashlights, spare batteries and other items. Pet owners should also have a pet preparedness kit stocked with items such as:

• At least a three-day supply of food and water
• Extra supplies of pet medicines
• Copies of pet registration, vaccinations and other important documents
• Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency
• Collar with ID tag, harness or leash
• Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation
• Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for sanitation
• Toys, treats or other familiar items to reduce your pet’s stress during the emergency

If it’s necessary for you to evacuate your home during a disaster, take your pets with you. An evacuation could last several days, even weeks, and your pets likely cannot survive without care. Plan now for places you and your pets can stay following an evacuation, as many public shelters do not allow animals inside.

It’s also important to have a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Talk to neighbors, friends and family to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. 

Additional pet preparedness and general emergency preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov, the Ready Illinois Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois and on Twitter at Twitter.com/ReadyIllinois.

 
PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Dwyer   
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:16

‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes

IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating
with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies

SPRINGFIELD – When disaster strikes, your first instinct probably is to call loved ones to make sure they’re OK or let them know you’re safe. It’s likely everyone else affected by the emergency is thinking the same thing.  In these instances, telephone lines can quickly become overloaded, preventing not only your call from going through but also blocking critical 911 calls.

During Severe Weather Preparedness Month in March, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to develop a Family Communications Plan that includes the “Text First, Talk Second” concept.

“Communicating with family and friends immediately after a disaster is important,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We’re encouraging people to plan now so they’ll know how to reach their contacts in the chaotic aftermath of a disaster.”

Joseph said short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through to your loved ones than a phone call when phone service is disrupted. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.

Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion during an emergency. You can also use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to post your status to let family and friends know you’re OK.

While Text-to-911 is on the horizon for emergency communications, it currently is available only in limited areas of the U.S. If you need to contact 911, do so by landline or cell phone unless your community has notified you that this service is activated in your area.

Additional emergency communications tips include:
• Keep all phone calls brief by conveying only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
• If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
• If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car.  Be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place, not in a garage.
• Another resource for letting friends and family know your status after a disaster is the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well Registry at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
• Your communications plan should identify an out-of-area contact and household members should carry that information with them at all times. If a disaster occurs when you are separated, it often is easier to call outside your immediate area. Family members can call the contact to provide location and coordinate reunification plans.

For more information about developing a family communications plan, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:16
 
PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Dwyer   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 07:15


National Weather Service Spotter Training

March 26, 2015
6:30 PM-9:00PM

Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave --- Room C118
(Park in lot C4, enter the building in the C1 doorway).

Campus map available at: http://www.parkland.edu/Media/Website%20Resources/PDF/maps/parkinglots.pdf


Topics Covered in the spotter training class include:
Spotter Safety
Thunderstorm Development and features
Types of Thunderstorms – especially those that impact Illinois
Types of Tornadoes, Landspouts and Gustnadoes
Non-tornadic severe weather (T-storm, Wind Gusts, Large Hail & Flooding)
Resources for Spotters
How and What Spotters Need to Report


If you have any questions please call the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency at 217-384-3826 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 07:17
 
«StartPrev12345678910NextEnd»

Page 1 of 15
 

Latest Tweets by ChampCoEMA

Facebook Image


LOCAL WEATHER



(Click To Enlarge)


Champaign Forecast


Hazardous Weather

Outlook