Bremer County Emergency Management

 


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Weather Preparedness

Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured because of the weather. Dangerous weather can take many forms, ranging from violent tornadoes to crippling winter storms. With the notable exception of hurricanes, Iowa can experience any of these dangerous phenomena.

While there is nothing we can do to stop dangerous weather from affecting us, there are things we can do to stay safe when the weather turns nasty. Weather safety and survival - no matter what the hazard - depends on the following key items:

          1. KNOW THE HAZARDS - Be aware of the hazards that you might face during a weather event.

          2. KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT DANGEROUS WEATHER - Monitor forecasts and information from your local National Weather Service Forecast Office.

          3. PAY ATTENTION - Be aware of all watches, warnings, and advisories affecting you.

          4. HAVE A PLAN TO STAY SAFE - Think about it before it happens and be ready to act to survive.

   

Severe Weather Season Reminders

Soon we will move into the warm weather months; take time to consider severe weather preparedness.  Let's start with definitions...

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Conditions are suitable for the development of severe thunderstorms.  Prepare to take cover if conditions change to a warning.  Be aware of weather conditions.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe thunderstorms have developed and will be impacting your area soon.  This is the time to take cover!

Tornado Watch - Conditions are suitable for the development of tornadoes.  Prepare to take cover if conditions change.  Be aware of weather conditions.

Tornado Warning - Tornadoes have been confirmed by trained spotters or by radar indications.  Take Cover Immediately!

Flash Flood Watch - Conditions are favorable for the development of flooding. 

Flash Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring and action is necessary!

In addition to personal responsibilities for weather awareness, Bremer County residents may utilize the following notification options.

NOAA Weather Radios –

Now is the time to check your NOAA weather radio.  Are the batteries fresh?  Is it still programmed to receive area warnings?  If not, FIPS Codes are available by clicking the link in the left column.  If you radio is working correctly, you should be receiving periodic tests from the National Weather Service.

Outdoor Warning Systems –

If you live near an outdoor warning system (siren) did you know an activated siren is your outdoor warning telling you to tune into local media for emergency information?  Outdoor warning systems may be used to alert citizens to weather emergencies, hazardous materials situations, or national security threats.

Code Red Emergency Notification System –

Bremer County residents with landline telephones are automatically registered with the Code Red Emergency Notification System.  By clicking on the Code Red link, you can also register your cell phone numbers.

 

Call 811 Before You Dig –

Don’t forget to call 811 before digging this spring.  The law requires businesses and residents to call 811 prior to any digging.  Activities requiring 811 calls include deep plowing, installing drain tiles, trees, ponds, fencing, decks, or concrete…any time you dig! 

Remember, the call is about more than the law.  Damage done to utility lines will be your responsibility and worse yet, damaged utility lines (gas, electric, water, communications) are a risk to you, your property, and those around you.

 

   

Bremer County and Emergency Management

Bremer County is home to nearly 25,000 residents and many more businesses and industries.  Eight communities are located in Bremer County:

  • Denver,
  • Frederika,
  • Janesville,
  • Plainfield,
  • Readlyn,
  • Sumner,
  • Tripoli, and
  • Waverly.

Picturesque wooded valleys of the Cedar, Shell Rock, and Wapsipincon Rivers, along with Plum and Crane creeks meander through the rich agricultural ground of Bremer County.

 

Bremer County Emergency Management

Emergency management in Bremer County is a coordinated effort between local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as individuals, businesses and volunteer organizations.  Since all disasters begin and end at the local level, coordinated preparedness and response efforts are critically important.

Emergency management involves four key concepts:

  • Preparedness - Planning, training, and exercising to respond quickly and efficiently to disasters - natural or man-made.
  • Response - Actions taken immediately after a disaster strikes.
  • Recovery - Coordinated efforts to assist residents and communities to return to "normal" following a disaster.
  • Mitigation - The efforts taken to reduce or eliminate risk from hazards.

 

Emergency Management Structure

The Code of Iowa, Chapter 29C authorizes the formation of Emergency Management Commissions in each county.  Each commission consists of the mayor of each community (or their designee), the Sheriff, and a member of the Board of Supervisors.  Each commission appoints an Emergency Management Coordinator to manage day-to-day activities and to assist as a resource for emergencies.  Bremer County Emergency Management partners with many organizations - from governmental agencies to volunteers, faith-based organizations to private businesses.

 

Individual and Business Involvement in Emergencies

Successful responses to emergencies are the result of coordinated and continuous planning efforts.  At the individual level, create a family emergency plan.  Know where family members will meet, who will be contacted, and what personal resources are available.  Businesses should consider creating a continuity of operations plan.  This plan will guide a prompt return to operations following a disaster.  Each of us should plan to work together, to assist at the personal, family, neighborhood, community, and county level. 

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Many volunteer emergency preparedness/response volunteer opportunities exist in Bremer County.  For those with a desire to assist with medical emergencies or with firefighting efforts, each community in the county is in need of EMTs and firefighters.  Contact our office for details.

Residents interested in enhancing their personal preparedness level, along with assisting with community preparedness efforts should consider joining Bremer County CERT.  Bremer County CERT members complete the formal CERT training and then receive regular additional training to assist with preparedness and response efforts.  CERT members frequently have the opportunity to assist emergency responders with exercises - sheltering, severe weather, active shooter, and communications - to name just a few.  Bremer County CERT has an organized Communications Team to support emergency communications functions.  Please consider joining Bremer County CERT!