Storm Damage Assessments Underway Locally

A few local counties are among the 29 in which local, state and federal officials have started assessing damage from recent storms. The assessments are part of the multi-step process to determine whether Indiana qualifies for public assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair damage caused by severe weather and flooding between June 7th and July 29th. Such assistance reimburses government and some nonprofit agencies for eligible expenses. Locally the list of counties being evaluated includes Marshall, Fulton and Pulaski. Continue reading

Stay Alert on Amusement Rides

ferris-wheel-434283_640Keep safety in mind when you visit carnivals, fairs and theme parks and hit the rides. Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says you shouldn’t board a ride if there’s even the slightest doubt about its safety, and you should not let your children board it either.

He says most rides are safe, but adds adults need to take appropriate action if anything is broken, improperly maintained or not functioning. First tell the ride’s operator about your concerns. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, let the ride company’s management know, and if necessary the venue operator. Erickson says an inattentive ride operator should also be reported. Unresolved concerns should be reported to the state’s ride safety hotline at 1-888-203-5020 or reading

Share the Road With School Buses, Students

School is back in session this week for students in several local corporations. Motorists are reminded to be alert and aware near bus stops and places where youngsters may walk or ride bicycles to or from school.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says drivers need to slow down and be extra alert for children who are closer to streets. He notes youngsters aren’t good at judging vehicle speeds and may try to cross streets too close to oncoming vehicles. Also Erickson says children listening to music on headsets and playing games on hand-held electronic devices may not be as aware of their surroundings. Continue reading

State Still Short of FEMA Damage Qualification Threshold

Indiana Department of Homeland SecurityBusinesses, individual and nonprofit organizations whose property has sustained damages as a result of recent flooding and storms have a few more days to report uninsured damage to the state. Doing so is a first step to see if Indiana may qualify for federal disaster assistance funds. Continue reading

Beware of Storm Cleanup Scam Artists

Scam artists may be trying to take advantage of Hoosiers who sustained property damage as a result of recent storms. Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson warns fly-by-night contractors may show up in hard-hit areas. He says they may offer immediate help, collect a down payment for promised work and disappear. Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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