Prepare for Storms Before Going to Bed Tonight

More severe storms are in the forecast during the overnight hours, with damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning, flash flooding and isolated tornadoes possible.

Before going to bed, turn up the volume on cell phones to ensure you hear alerts, and make sure your weather apps are set to provide notifications if weather watches or warnings are issued. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather. Continue reading

EMA Director Worries About Effect of Rain on Crops

IMG_5011The continued rains have left many area farmers up a creek, so to speak. Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti told the county commissioners last night many have sustained significant losses as a result of standing water. He adds it will be too late for them to replant by the time their fields dry out. Bombagetti has made a formal request for “saturated soil” assistance to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and is waiting for a response.  Continue reading

Officials Warn of High Water Levels

Severe Weather Preparedness Week officially begins tomorrow, and officials are already warning of possible flooding issues this weekend.

With rainfall in parts of the state, yesterday, rivers, creeks, streams and low-lying areas could experience flooding. The addition of snow melt will increase changes of flooding.

No watches or warnings have been enacted in our area at this time.

Continue reading

Travel Watch Issued for Marshall County, Wind Chill Advisory Extended

cold temperaturesMarshall County is now under an orange level travel watch. That means only essential travel is recommended. Starke, LaPorte and Pulaski Counties are still under yellow level travel advisories, meaning routine travel may be restricted because roads are hazardous in places. Find more information at Continue reading

Starke County EMA Gets Grant Money for Radio Upgrades

 Starke County will be able to upgrade the radios used by police departments, firefighters and other emergency responders without a cost to the county thanks to a grant from the state. Continue reading

Grant Application Approved for Training Exercise

Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery will be receiving a $8,485.29 grant as the county council this week approved his request to apply for the grant.

The initial purpose of Indiana Department of Homeland Security reimbursable grant was to purchase recording equipment for the Emergency Operations Center, but Avery told WKVI News that the equipment is not on the approved list for the grant.

Continue reading

Be Prepared for Severe Weather: Check Preparedness Kit

The season is changing and now is the time to prepare for the potential for severe weather.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security recommends maintaining a preparedness kit. If you have one assembled, take this opportunity to check on foods and other items in the kit to see what things might need to be replaced.

Continue reading

Fourth of July Fireworks Safety

!!2014Fourth of July weekend is always full of fun with friends, family and fireworks. There are certain precautions to take to assure a safe time for everyone. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security offers a few tips to take into consideration whenever using fireworks.
Continue reading

Stay Safe at County Fairs This Summer

Don’t let a visit to the county fair end with a trip to the emergency room. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security warns that inclement weather can strike quickly. All fairgoers are urged to check forecasts and keep an eye on the sky. Should a storm blow in, know where to go to stay safe and dry until it passes. Continue reading

IDHS Encouraging Hoosiers to Fill Out Survey

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to fill out a 10-minute online survey in order to help them gauge Indiana citizens’ readiness for emergencies and disasters. Officials say the outcomes of the survey will help the public safety community gain a greater understanding of how prepared Indiana residents are and how to help increase that preparedness.

Continue reading

IDHS Encourages Reporting Damage Caused By Storms

The severe weather and flooding in the northern Indiana area caused some significant damage in affected areas and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers who sustained damage since May 31 to report the damage online. The reports will help the department evaluate the situation and determine if federal assistance will be requested as a result of the weather.

Continue reading

Unsolicited Volunteers Hamper Disaster Recovery

Monetary assistance is the best way to help victims of the Oklahoma tornado. That’s the advice of officials with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters are advising Hoosiers about how to help Oklahoma citizens in need. The destruction in Oklahoma City has left communities in need of hands-on help and donations. Volunteers play a vital part in disaster recovery. However, Indiana VOAD President Chris Gilbert says, “Well-meaning individuals who simply show up to help without coordinating with disaster management personnel can complicate or even hinder response and recovery operations already underway. Become part of a coordinated effort.”

Continue reading

Report Flood Damage to IDHS

 If you sustain flood damage at any time between April 17-22, report that damage to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. A report form can be found online at

If you do not have internet access, contact a friend, family member or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at your local library. If none of those options are available, you may also contact your county emergency management agency to report damage.

Continue reading

Explosion Training Held in Indiana

The Boston Marathon explosions have prompted first responders in Indiana to train if such an event were to happen on local soil.

Training was held Tuesday and will continue Wednesday and will entail how to react to the aftermath of an explosion similar to the incident at the marathon.

Continue reading

Hoosiers Encouraged to Get Ready for Spring Floods

April showers bring May flowers, and those showers can also bring something less lovely: floods. The longer days and warmer weather of spring come at a price, as volatile weather can increase the risk of flooding.

The National Weather Service, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, and Indiana Department of Homeland Security are encouraging Hoosiers to get ready for potential flooding during Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18-22.

Continue reading

Department of Homeland Security Two-Day Training Exercise Today

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security District Two will be holding a two-day training exercise today and Tuesday at the Pulaski County Fairgrounds.

This will be a Service and Support Field Operations Exercise to better enhance the District Two Task Force.

Emergency responders will be setting up tents, generators and other equipment to get an idea of what everyone has or will need in case of a specific crisis. The task force is responsible for having food, shelter, and housing available to those who need it at a given response site. Electrical, safety, communications and security experts will come together to coordinate efforts.

District Two covers Elkhart, Fulton, Marshall, Kosciusko, Pulaski, Starke and St. Joseph Counties.

IDHS District 2 to Participate in Disaster Exercise

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security District Two Response Task Force will participate in coordinated effort on Wednesday, April 25th at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana.

The State Level Exercise 2012 Tornado Alley will bring together the efforts of firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, emergency managers, law enforcement personnel and other local emergency response professionals from Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke and St. Joseph Counties. Pulaski County officials will be deploying the Tactical Rescue Team and Service and Support Element.

Continue reading

Officials from Starke, Pulaski Counties Participate in Earthquake Exercise

The largest ever Indiana exercise and the first ever national level exercise designed around a natural disaster was held last week. Starke County EMA Director, Ted Bombagetti and Pulaski County Chief Deputy Sheriff, Ron Patrick, who is the District Two Task Force Commander for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, were involved in the exercise that took place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Pulaski County Sheriff, Michael Gayer, attended the training and he talks about the training center in Jennings County:

Continue reading

Pulaski County Officer Named Indiana Department of Homeland Security Task Force Commander

Ron Patrick (L) and IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has announced that 10 commanders are now in place to continue development of the regional emergency response task forces evolving into a statewide network of emergency support.

Ron Patrick, Chief Deputy of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, has been named as the Task Force Commander for District 2. The commanders are responsible for overseeing daily administrative operations, and recruiting resources to establish and expand the capabilities of the task force they oversee.

Continue reading

Hoosiers are Urged to Prepare for Coming Snow Storm

We could see giant piles of snow like this one in some areas in the Kankakee Valley

With accumulating amounts of snow predicted to begin falling this evening, Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police officials are encouraging Hoosiers to prepare by having a few supplies available and consulting the State Travel Advisory Map before venturing onto roadways.

“As with any severe weather event, it’s always a good idea to gather a few essential supplies in case utilities are disrupted,” says IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott. “Know where your flashlight and extra batteries are in case of a power outage, and have a 3 day supply of food and water available in case you are unable to leave home for a few days.”

Continue reading