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Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared to winter storms or hurricanes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes.An estimated 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year in the United States. Thunderstorms can produce lightning, strong winds, hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. Each year, many people are injured or killed by severe thunderstorms.
Straight-line winds or downbursts are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage. Once you receive a warning or observe threatening skies, YOU must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. Listed below are important tips to keep you and your family safe:
Welcome to Madison County EMA/CSEPP
The Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) were combined to form an all hazards organization ready to support community emergency response.
County level EMA is the local organization within the framework of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Kentucky Emergency Management is included in FEMA’s Region IV.
The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1985 to provide emergency preparedness and maximum protection to communities near chemical weapons stockpiles in the unlikely event of an accident happening at the stockpile sites. From the original nine sites, only two remain: Pueblo, Colorado and Madison County, Kentucky.
For decades, about 2% of the United States’ original stockpile of chemical agents has been safely stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, in special bunkers called igloos. The safe destruction of those chemical agents is estimated to be complete by the year 2023.
Until the completion of this program, the funding provided through CSEPP gives Madison County additional tools and resources to respond to a chemical accident. This preparedness translates to preparedness for other emergencies as well.
Hazards Identified for Madison County, Kentucky
• Severe Weather is the hazard which causes emergency response most often in Madison County.
• Hazardous materials spills are another hazard which keep emergency responders active. These spills can occur on the interstate highway, at factories, or on railways.
• Though it is unlikely an accident would happen at the Blue Grass Army Depot with the storage and neutralization of the chemical weapons stockpile, CSEPP enhances Madison County’s ability to respond to such an emergency.
• Earthquakes are another hazard in Kentucky, considered to be within the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
• Miles of natural gas pipelines run through Madison County and surrounding areas.
What is Alert and Notification?
In Madison County we have multiple ways of notifying the public in the event of a natural disaster or chemical related event. Madison County has four (4) methods of alerting the public:
These systems allow EMA to notify the public in a matter of minutes when a weather or chemical event occurs. The systems will provide information that directs the public of what to do during an event.
Adviser Alert Radios (AARs)
Beginning in the spring of 2011, Adviser Alert Radios (AARs) were sent out to eligible addresses within Madison County by the Madison County EMA/CSEPP Program. These radios replaced the original Tone Alert Radios (TARs) distributed in Madison County in the mid-1990s. The AARs have a longer battery life, text display, AM/FM radio capabilities, and additional user-friendly features. This upgrade also extended the coverage area within the county. Previously, TARs were distributed to a 6.2 mile radius from the chemical limited area at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Now, AARs are distributed to a 9.2 mile radius as well as to residents within the city limits of Berea. Madison County EMA/CSEPP recommends residents outside this area purchase a weather radio at a local retailer. All “special population facilities” received an AAR, no matter what their location in the county. Special population facilities include schools, daycares, long-term care facilities and hospitals.
Old TARs are no longer operational, so there is no need to keep an old TAR, but they do not belong in the garbage – they will be properly recycled by Madison County EMA/CSEPP. If you still possess one of the old TARs, you may drop it at one of the following locations:
Remember: The AAR is designed to stay with the address of the home, business, or apartment to which they are assigned. Even if you move, the AAR stays. Only ONE AAR will be assigned to a residential address.
All AAR units are the property of Madison County EMA/CSEPP and have assigned serial numbers.
It is illegal to sell an Adviser Alert Radio.
Outdoor Siren Notifications
Sirens are designed as an outdoor warning system. They alert people who are outside that an emergency has occurred or is imminent. The purpose is to move persons into a shelter, and have them tune to Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio stations for more information.
Ninety (90) sirens are located throughout Madison County. The sirens are strategically placed in more heavily populated areas of the county, including Richmond, the Eastern Kentucky University campus, Berea, Fort Boonesborough, White Hall, Kingston, Union City, and Kirksville.
The siren system has three (3) different wails or tones. Different tones are used for different types of emergencies. Each tone lasts for forty-five (45) seconds, and is followed by a fifteen (15) second voice message.
The steady wail is the severe weather tone. It is a continuous forty-five (45) second screech that sounds like a conventional siren. A voice message will either state that the National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning, instructing listeners to tune to local radio and television stations, or it will state the type of warning (thunderstorm or tornado) and instruct listeners to seek shelter immediately.
The alternate steady wail is the chemical incident tone. It is a series of two high-pitched beeping sounds. The beep last for forty-five (45) seconds, and are followed by a message that tells residents an incident has occurred, and to listen to local EAS radio stations.
Westminster Chimes is the testing wail. Tests are conducted on the first Saturday and the third Wednesday of every month at 12:20 in the afternoon.
Everbridge Mass Notification System
Madison County uses the Everbridge system for our Emergency Alert Program. This program allows you to receive a phone call, text message, and/or email in the event of an emergency or a special situation that affects the county.
The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) was created in 1985 when the US Congress passed a law directing the Army to dispose of its aging chemical weapons inventory with maximum protection of the public and environment as its primary consideration. CSEPP is a partnership between FEMA and the U.S. Department of the Army that provides emergency preparedness assistance and resources to communities surrounding the Army’s chemical warfare agent stockpiles.
CSEPP’s mission is to “enhance existing local, installation, tribal, state and federal capabilities to protect the health and safety of the public, work force and environment from the effects of a chemical accident or incident involving the U.S. Army chemical stockpile.” Since its inception, CSEPP has worked to educate and enhance emergency preparedness in communities surrounding the chemical stockpile stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot. Until the chemical stockpile is safely destroyed, CSEPP will continue to support efforts to ensure a community’s preparedness and safety in the unlikely event of a chemical agent accident
Kentucky CSEPP has two IRZs, six PAZs, and two host counties which are affected by the chemical stockpile. Madison County, where the Bluegrass Army Depot is located, and Estill County are considered to be in the Immediate Response Zone (IRZ). Clark, Fayette, Powell, Estill, Jackson, Rockcastle and Garrard Counties make up the Protective Action Zone (PAZ). Jessamine and Laurel Counties are considered Host counties, in which citizens of the IRZ or PAZ may be deployed.
CSEPP protects people who live and work near installations with chemical stockpiles in the unlikely event of a chemical accident or incident. The Army is fulfilling its mission to eliminate aging chemical munitions and warfare materials in accordance with international treaties and national policy. To date, chemical stockpiles have been destroyed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; the Newport Chemical Depot, Ind.; Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark.; the Anniston Army Depot, Ala., Umatilla Army Depot, Ore. and the Deseret Chemical Depot, Utah. A stockpile on Johnston Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean, was also completely destroyed in 2000. CSEPP will remain in place until all stockpiles are completely destroyed.
Where Are These Stockpiles Located?
The two remaining stockpiles are secured at the Blue Grass, KY. and Pueblo, CO., U.S. Army installations. Each community provides its residents important emergency preparedness information. The chemical stockpiles at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, the Pine Bluff Aresnal in Arkansas and the Newport Chemical Depot in Indiana were completely destroyed. In 2000, a stockpile on Johnston Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean, was also completely destroyed.
Being prepared for the various types of disasters is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your family, friends, and community. Some steps that individuals can take to be more prepared involve have a plan, have a disaster kit, and educate yourself on the various types of disaster that are likely in your community.
A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
When a disaster strikes it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
Severe weather is the most common risk in most communities. You can take steps to prepare for when severe weather strikes in your area. Knowing the most common weather hazards in your area, your vulnerability, and what actions you should take can save your life and others. Use the menu to left to learn more about specific events.
During a Chemical Emergency
You may hear about a chemical emergency through the Emergency Alert System, the community warning sirens, or a Advisor Alert Radio. If you hear about an accident you should:
If you do not have a Shelter In Place kit come to our offices at
558 S Keeneland Dr. Richmond, KY 40475 and we will supply you with one.
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
Family Supply List
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula or pet supplies. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to include in a Basic Kit
Clothing and Bedding
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. Ensure that one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on Ready.gov
Madison and the surrounding counties are not located in a major earthquake producing zone; however the New Madrid Fault seismic zone covers parts of five U.S. states: Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.Even though the chance of a 7.0 magnitude major quake is minimal, a quake in the 4.0 to 6.5 range is possible. There is also the chance of damaging earthquakes from a geologically active zone in the Wabash River Valley of Illinois which produced a quake in 1980 that caused nearly three million dollars in damages in the Maysville area.
Flooding...what it means and what to do:
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible.
Flash Flood Watch – Flash flooding is possible. Move to higher ground. A flash flood could occur without any warning.
Flood Warning – Flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning – A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately.
In all flood instances, always stay tuned to your local radio or TV service for additional information. Learn the flood elevation of your property; this will help you know how your property will be affected by flooding.Always be prepared to evacuate should you need to. NEVER drive though water, 2-3 inches of fast moving water has the potential to sweep a vehicle away.Home owners insurance does not cover flooding. Flood insurance should be purchased separately.
Tornadoes are nature's most violent storm and can leave an area devastated in just a matter of seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, striking the ground with whirling winds up to 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long, "tornado tracks" or paths as long as 200 miles have been reported. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. Tornadoes can strike at any time of the year; however, they occur most frequently during the months of April, May, and June.
What to do before a tornado
Know the terms used to describe tornado threats. Tornado Watch – means tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, or both are possible. Stay tuned to local radio and/or television reports. Keep a watch on the sky. Tornado Warning – means one or more tornadoes have been sighted or indicated by radar. You should take shelter immediately.
If you see any rotating funnel-shaped clouds, report it immediately by dialing 911. Know the locations of designated shelter areas in public facilities, such as schools, public buildings and shopping centers. Prepare a family disaster supply kit. Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in case of a tornado warning. Make an inventory of your household furnishings and other possessions. Supplement the written inventory with photos or video. Keep these in a safe place away from the premises.
What to do during a tornado
Seek shelter immediately. Whenever severe weather threatens your area, listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions. When a tornado has been sighted, stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Protect your head from falling objects or flying debris. Take cover immediately, wherever you are: House or small building – go to the basement or storm cellar; if there is no basement, go to the interior part of the structure on the lowest level (closets, interior hallways). In either case, get under something sturdy (such as a heavy table) and stay there until the danger has passed.School, nursing home, hospital, factory, or shopping center – go to the predesignated shelter area. Interior hallways on the lowest floor are safest. Stay away from windows and open areas. Remember to always cooperate with the staff or authorities.High-rise building – go to a small interior room or into a hallway on the lowest floor possible. Vehicle or mobile home – get out immediately and go to a more substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a low lying area with your hands/arms shielding your head. Remember with tornadoes usually comes a lot of rain, so watch for flooding in these low lying areas.
Do not attempt to flee from a tornado in a vehicle; vehicles are no match for the swift erratic movement of these storms.
What to do after a tornado
Use great caution when entering a building damaged from high winds. When entering or clearing a tornado damaged building, be sure that the walls, ceiling and roof are in place and that the structure rests firmly on the foundation. Look out for broken glass, downed power lines, leaking natural or propane gas lines, and electrical lines.Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help immediately. If the victim is unconscious or has head or facial injuries, be sure the head and neck are supported if you must move them, and clear the airway so that the victim will not choke. Maintain body temperature with blankets. Be sure the victim does not become overheated. Never try to feed liquids to an unconscious person.
Severe winter storms are not uncommon in Central Kentucky. Heavy snow and ice storms can create extreme hardships, sometimes for days at a time. Utilities of all kinds are often damaged. Prepare an emergency plan that assumes you will be without power for an unknown amount of time. Work with your friends, family, and neighbors to help each other in an emergency. Stay informed of weather conditions, and travel only if necessary during severe winter weather. Due to the weight of ice and snow, watch for falling or fallen trees and limbs when venturing out or while driving.
What to do in case of severe winter weather
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