A new ordinance is in effect for Starke County which adopts the state standard for disaster emergency declaration. EMA Director Ted Bombagetti explained that the ordinance was adopted in order to alleviate confusion between counties when dealing with disaster emergencies.
The ordinance will allow the county to easily activate the response and recovery aspects of all applicable county disaster emergency plans, authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance under those plans, and to declare a Travel Warning, during which travel would be restricted to emergency personnel only.
Four travel advisory levels are described in the declaration, consisting of “Caution,” “Advisory,” “Watch,” and “Warning.”
A travel advisory status of “Caution” means that a condition may develop that limits or hinders travel in isolated areas. Under “Caution”, no travel restrictions have been placed in effect by county officials but citizens should be alert to changing conditions.
A travel advisory status of “Advisory” means that routine travel or activity may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation. Citizens should use caution or avoid these areas.
A travel advisory status of “Watch” means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. Only essential travel is recommended. Emergency action plans have been or should now be implemented by businesses, school, government agencies and other organizations.
A travel advisory status of “Warning” means that travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only. During a Travel Warning, all citizens are called upon and directed to refrain from travel, to comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency plans, and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.