Bremer County Emergency Management
Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 25-29
The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service have declared the week of March 25 through March 29, 2013 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual event designed to remind Iowans that severe weather is part of living in our state and that understanding the risks and how to respond to them can save lives.
During Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather Service will promote severe-weather safety by issuing informative Public Information Statements. The highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 27. Bremer County Outdoor Warning Systems (sirens) will be tested shortly after 10:00am, weather permitting. In the event of threatening weather, the test will be delayed to the next day without threatening weather.
Severe Weather Awareness Week Daily Topics:
Monday - The focus on Monday will be flash flooding. Flash flooding is a leading weather-related killer in the United States. Never drive into a flooded area!
Tuesday - On Tuesday the topic will be warning reception. Over the years, the options for receiving hazardous weather warnings have changed. The discussion will focus on how to receive weather warnings. Do you know how to receive a weather warning?
Wednesday - Wednesday is Tornado Safety Day. In 2011, more than 500 people died in the United States from tornadoes. Do you know where the safest place is in your home or car? Outdoor warning systems will be tested across the state, weather permitting, shortly after 10:00 AM.
Thursday – Thursday’s topic is severe thunderstorms. Hundreds of severe thunderstorms hit Iowa each year. Did you know severe thunderstorms can be as dangerous as tornadoes?
Friday - Family Preparedness is the topic for the day. Learn about family safety preparedness for natural and man-made hazards.
Severe Weather Season Reminders
As we 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!
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:
- Tripoli, and
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.
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!