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Johnson County Emergency Management promotes weather readiness at home and work

By Tamas Mondovics
Editor

Johnson County Emergency Management (JCEM) has once again joined forces with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Schools to help area residents to be weather ready for the upcoming spring and summer season.
The agency located at 216 Honeysuckle St., in Mountain City is led by JCEM Director Jason Blevins was proud of promoting severe weather preparedness week held annually.
Officials emphasized that National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort that is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
This year’s weeklong event from Feb. 25-March 3, 2018 was designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone as well as encourage individuals, families, businesses, and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.
“We wanted to specifically focus on urging residents to review their personal emergency preparedness at home and work,” said Johnson County Emergency Operations Officer, Michael Sumner.
And, for a good reason.
In a press release, JCEM emphasized that despite advance warnings many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather each year. “Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual. Because of this we are committed to helping educate our citizens, and we’re calling on you to be “Weather-Ready,” the release read, adding, “Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.”
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), severe weather in the state of Tennessee has claimed at least 11 lives and injured nearly 40 more in 2016. Weather events have cost the Tennessee more than 26 million dollars.
JCEM officials zeroed in on the approach of spring and summer as the appropriate time for everyone to monitor the weather. “This is when thunderstorms develop in the area that can develop rapidly and with little warning,” Sumner said.
Sumner added that during the week JCEM tested its communications systems, while the Johnson County School system participated in tornado drills at area schools. The event joined a statewide effort.
“We also did a live radio show on WMCT, discussed information about severe weather and provided education on various ways to get weather alerts,” Sumner said.
Thanks to technology, smartphones have become one of the best places to get weather alerts as various websites provide as many apps to receive alerts.
Of course, the local media weather services and the
national weather service
are all excellent sources to
get the heads up on the forecast.
Officials pressed that knowing the risk is only the first step to becoming weather-ready as severe weather comes in many forms and that a shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
The second step, of course, is to ‘Take Action,’ which according to officials means to develop a family communication plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
Another way to prepare is to be an example by sharing personal readiness with family and friends on YouTube, Facebook, commenting on a blog, or sending a tweet.
“Don’t wait until an emergency to make a plan,” Blevins said. “It is better to have one that you have developed and practiced so when the need arises you can take care of you and your family,”
You can visit www.Ready.gov/severe-weather for more on family preparedness for severe weather.
Residents can also sign up for weather alerts from the National Weather Service by visiting, www.weather.gov/subscribe
Any organization or group who would like an Emergency Preparedness presentation should contact us at
423-727-2507.