Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tornado Safety and the "Be Ready Campaign"!

Well who would have thought I would be blogging about tornado safety in January?

But as I blogged on January 11, 2008 we in Illinois and Wisconsin in fact had some very rare weather events resulting in at least three tornadoes. So did many other parts of the United States.

Its important to remember that mother nature can surprise everyone at anytime, so we all must be prepared for unusual weather and severe weather anytime.

One of the issues that developed after these rare tornado events occurred were people calling their local 911 system when they heard the tornado sirens of which both Chicago and Milwaukee utilize blasting away.

I cannot stress enough that calling the 911 system to find out what the sirens are for is not a smart idea. First your wasting time. Once you hear these sirens your instructed to "take cover immediately", not call 911 for information and potentially tie up a system designed for dispatching emergencies. We all have to remember that while we are calling 911 seeking information they just might be kind of busy with the results of the reason why the sirens are going off in the first place and we just might take away a 911 operator from dispatching emergency services to someone in need.

For example, here are two recordings of the recent 911 calls into the Kenosha, Wisconsin 911 system during the recent tornado events. Listen to the calls and realize what was really happening while people were calling in seeking information.

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OK, so what do we really need to do when this happens? Well first we all must "Be Ready" for severe weather at all times. Secondly, we all have smoke detectors in our homes to alert us from the beginning stages of a fire. Well we should all also have a Weather Radio as well. These radio's are inexpensive most cost around $20.00. Small investment to keep you and your family safe.

Like a smoke detector keeps you warned a weather radio will keep you alert to developing severe weather and warn you to take action when weather becomes dangerous. Third, have a plan ready, including a communications plan for all family members. This communications plan should also include a rallying point, after the all clear signal has been issued, in case communications is cut due to down wires or lost of cell towers for family member caught outside and away from your home. Finally, if you hear sirens don't call the 911 system, be ready, tune into your local radio and TV news outlets and if you must call someone, use the "non-emergency" number for your local police department". NOT THE 911 NUMBER! Unless your calling in to report a emergency!

But remember while your making this call mother nature can be in your backyard bearing down on you! So more importantly we all have to "Be Ready"!

Storm Spotter/Chaser Richard Niemeyer alerted me to the next “BE READY CAMPAGIN”, for Southern Illinois. This is a FREE PROGRAM! So take advantage of it!


For Immediate Release

January 14, 2008

SI-CERT Announces the 2008, “BE READY CAMPAGIN”, for Southern Illinois. Do not make Preparedness an After Thought!

Would you place your very survival and that of your family in the Hands of a Stranger?

You would probably respond with “NO”, or, “I hope that I never have to rely on a complete stranger to save my life or that of my family.” However, each of us does this daily with our personal safety.

Do you have life insurance, homeowners insurance, and auto insurance? Would you go even one day of your life without them? Of course not; the financial risk is too great to you and your family. One accident and everything is lost.

But there is another assurance that you have not taken out that could cost you and your loved ones lives. Do you Give Up?


There are no special books to buy, and the resources and training are available FREE of charge. So let’s make today the first day of that new assurance, the day that Citizens must take personal responsibility for disaster preparedness. Prepare, Protect, and assure yourselves for disasters and emergencies. Remember when disasters or emergencies occur time is of the essence, and if professions are backed up and can’t get there, you may make the difference in the live and death of a loved one. So think about it, do you still want to live without an assurance that could be so costly? Think about it, educate yourself on what to do, so that you can better assure yourself and your loved ones when a disaster or emergency occurs!

SI-CERT Announces the 2008, “BE READY CAMPAGIN” for Southern Illinois. The Southern Illinois Community Emergency Response Team prays that the Citizens of Southern Illinois will join us in improving the safety and readiness of all who live and work here in Southern Illinois. Don’t be left out, take the responsibility that will reward you and your family with increased security and Peace of Mind.

As responsible community minded Citizens it is very important that you attend the 4th Annual Meeting of the “Housing and Neighborhood Action Group”- “Carbondale Conversations for Community Action” as this year’s important topic is Emergency Preparedness. This meeting will provide you with some wonderful resources for both you, and your Neighborhoods. The meeting is 9:30 AM Saturday morning January 19th at the First United Methodist Church, 214 East Main Street, Carbondale, Illinois. The Housing and Neighborhood Action Group - Carbondale Conversations for Community Action has the eventual goal of developing a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for Carbondale.

The Southern Illinois Community Emergency Response Team has become a part of a national network of CERT communities. SI-CERT has developed a program that is designed to help communities prepare for and respond after catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and other major emergencies. We need you, the Citizen Volunteers, those of civic mind and pride in country, to commit to a life of service in preparation for a day that we all hope will never come. The day of a catastrophic disaster right here in your home town and neighborhood.

The mission of SI-CERT is to be a conveyor for the community, a catalyst for social action and the key resource for Citizen Volunteer involvement in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. To be the premier provider of volunteer services through innovative program development with volunteers who are not only prepared for a disaster; but, are trained and equipped to respond with compassion and dedication to help those in need and answer the call to service.

SI-CERT will serve all of the Residents, the Citizen Volunteer’s and the Non-Profit Groups, Governmental Agencies, and the Profit Organization’s in the Sixteen (16) Southern Most Counties of Illinois; namely Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White, Williamson, and Union.

SI-CERT will promote, recruit and develop Citizen Volunteers for involvement in charitable service to their communities in times of disaster or community need in all the communities we serve.

SI-CERT will meet the educational needs of the Citizen Volunteers through innovative training programs that will provide them with the skills to be effective in their service to their community in time of disaster and/or community need.

SI-CERT will promote preparedness and development of response capabilities in the counties that we serve and this will be done by the coordination and administration of Citizen Volunteers through Community Emergency Response Teams and Non-Profit Organizations that are active in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery.

To learn more about SI-CERT go to our new web site at: http://www.sicertinc.org/ or call Richard Niemeyer, KC9JMW at (618)-319-9206 or email richardniemeyer@mchsi.com .

To learn more about the upcoming 4th Annual Meeting of the Housing and Neighborhood Action Group - Carbondale Conversations for Community Action contact Carbondale Conversations for Community Action: at 549-5302 x 386 or studycircles@ci.carbondale.il.us


Storm Spotter and emergency aid worker Pauline Redmond was kind enough to send me these photo's of the aftermath of the Caledonia, Mississippi Tornado.

"Be Ready"!