Emergency Response Vehicles Delivering Food and Clean-Up Kits Around Indiana

On Wednesday, Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles started delivering food and supplies to flood-affected areas around Indiana, including the counties of Marshall, Starke and Pulaski.

Lead Disaster Action Team Member and Local Red Cross Volunteer Sherry Fagner spent the beginning of this week working with the Mass Care Feeding League at Red Cross Headquarters in South Bend, organizing contracts with areas requesting assistance and preparing kits to deliver to the spots that were hit the hardest by the recent floods. Continue reading

Emergency Management Officials Coordinate Response Efforts For Residents Affected by the Floods

As the flood waters start receding, emergency management officials are beginning to plan out ways to assist those most severely impacted by the recent floods.

The Salvation Army recently delivered a few clean-up kits to emergency management officials in both Starke and Pulaski County. Starke County EMA Director J. Nier and Pulaski County EMA Director Sheri Gaillard said they will be handing those out to the citizens who need them in the near future.

They also said they’ll be conducting more thorough damage assessments once the water recedes more. However, residents are still reminded to fill out damage assessment reports through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to assist with relief efforts. Only uninsured property damage should be reported. Continue reading

Local Red Cross Volunteer One of Six Hoosiers Chosen for U.S. Virgin Islands Deployment

The Winamac woman who recently returned from Texas after spending two weeks assisting the Red Cross with mass care efforts there, is leaving once again – this time to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sherry Fagner is one of six Indiana volunteers who were chosen to be a part of the jump team that was assembled to be deployed to the area.

When Sherry returned from Texas, she was a little under the weather. However, she said she is feeling better now as she physically, mentally and emotionally prepares for her journey. She leaves today and will spend a day or two in Atlanta, Georgia for staff collection then she will leave from there to the islands. Continue reading

Local Red Cross Volunteer Returns Home Briefly Before Another Deployment

Local Red Cross volunteer Sherry Fagner returned home last Friday, after spending two weeks working as the supervisor of a staff shelter in Beaumont, Texas. Sherry is the sole Lead Disaster Action Team member for Pulaski and Starke Counties. She is also a longtime Red Cross volunteer who has assisted in past natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the Henryville tornadoes and the 2016 floods in South Bend.  Continue reading

Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort Update from Local Volunteer

The last time Sherry Fagner, spoke with WKVI, she was two days away from joining the Red Cross in Houston to assist with mass care efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Fagner is a Lead Disaster Action Team member for Pulaski and Starke Counties as well as a long-time Red Cross Volunteer. Sherry has been on the ground for a little under a week now and has been quite busy as the supervisor of a staff shelter there. Continue reading

Local Red Cross Volunteer Heading to Houston

A local woman who volunteered during past natural disasters such as the Henryville Tornado and Hurricane Sandy will be deploying to Houston this weekend to assist the Red Cross with mass care efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Sherry Fagner is a former Incident Management Team member of the District 2 Task Force who now serves as the Lead Disaster Action Team member for Pulaski and Starke Counties. Fagner will be providing assistance in one of the mega centers that has been set up in the Houston area. Continue reading

Pulaski County Health Department Receives Grant

  
 

The Pulaski County Health Department received a reimbursable grant for supplies in the office.

Sherry Fagner told the commissioners this week that the State Department of Health Public Preparedness Base Grant is worth $13,460.

“We’re doing some updated packet printing for our partners. As far as supplies, we kind of have a lot of different things on there to update our Go Kits for our partners and to support a POD or any other event that we have to do,” explained Fagner.

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Are You Ready for Severe Weather?

 
 

The only thing harder than being prepared is explaining why you were not! This is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which is a good opportunity to know your risk, take action and be an example. The Pulaski County Health Department is one of several agencies taking part in this call to action. Preparedness measures have been put to the test with this winter’s snowfall, and tornado season will be here soon. Pulaski County Health Department Preparedness Coordinator Sherry Fagner says knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are a few steps you can take now to potentially save your life and the lives of others. Continue reading

Double-Check Your Winter Preparedness

 
 
With subfreezing temperatures forecast for at least the next week, now is the perfect time to double-check your winter weather preparedness. Sherry Fagner with the Pulaski County Health Department said a good checklist includes a food backup plan, plenty of stocked water, and a number of other items in case disaster strikes.

Fagner recommends having enough food for at least three days and enough water for several days as well in case the electricity goes out or your pipes freeze. She said the amount of water should be sufficient to be used for sanitation purposes and for cooking. For food, she said it’s important to not only have nutritious items, but to stash some comfort food as well to prevent getting stir-crazy.

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Pulaski Commissioners Approve Grant for Health Department

Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Vice President Terry Young, and President Tracey Shorter
Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Vice President Terry Young, and President Tracey Shorter
The Pulaski County Commissioners at their regular meeting this week approved a request from Sherry Fagner of the health department to use a state grant and explained to the commissioners that she received the state’s approval last week for the grant in the amount of $15,000.

Fagner explained the grant will be used to support the coroner’s efforts, to purchase items like bodybags, toe tags, mobile printers to be used in the field, GPS units and other items.

Commissioner Larry Brady made a motion to approve her request. Terry Young seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

West Nile Virus Hits Indiana; Repellent Encouraged

 
 
It has finally come to Indiana; the first person in the state has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus. While it isn’t quite time to panic, we should still do what we can to avoid mosquitoes. Sherry Fagner, environmental health specialist at the Pulaski County Health Department, told WKVI that there are numerous ways to avoid the annoying pests and cut down on the risk of West Nile at the same time.

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Pulaski Health Dept. Offers Free Mosquito Wipes, Repellant

 
 
It’s mosquito season and that brings one fear to mind above all others when it comes to being bitten by the annoying bug: the West Nile virus. The virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, and while there is no treatment for the infection and no vaccine available, there are several ways to avoid the virus.

Most people who get infected with West Nile virus do not show any symptoms, though some people develop a mild illness called West Nile Fever. This mild illness gets better on its own; no treatment is necessary. However, a small number of people – that is, less than 1 in 100 – who get infected with West Nile virus develop severe symptoms such as headache, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, and paralysis.

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Pulaski County Commissioners Receive Update on AED Purchases

Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Vice President Terry Young, and President Tracey Shorter
Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Vice President Terry Young, and President Tracey Shorter
The purchase of automated external defibrillators for Pulaski County is still on hold until Sherry Fagner from the Pulaski County Health Department can determine whether or not a grant for the AEDs is available from the state. EMS Director Nikki Lowry gave her monthly report to the commissioners this week and explained that the grant would possibly cover the cost of up to seven defibrillators, and she needs to know which county buildings would most need the life-saving devices.

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District 2 Task Force Tests HVAC Equipment

 
 

A few members of the District 2 Task Force were in the Winamac Town Park Wednesday morning to do some testing of HVAC equipment. Sherry Fagner from the Pulaski County Health Department explains that they were trying to remedy the air system.

“We are testing some new HVAC systems and some duct work with the systems we currently have. We try to be prepared when something happens and this is part of our plans to get them to where we want them in the field. Can we go right now? Absolutely. But, we want to make sure the systems we have are the best they can be,” explained Fagner.

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Pulaski County Health Dept. to Purchase Mobile Cooling Centers

The Pulaski County Health Department will soon be receiving a decent chunk of change to purchase two canopy cooling centers. Sherry Fagner with the health department said the two mist shelters will be purchased using a $20,000 grant, and obtaining that grant was not easy.

Fagner said the health department has to justify the purchase in order to obtain the grant, and said they justified the purchase by stating that it could be employed in a possible distribution site for medical countermeasures. That is, if the department ever offered a drive-through or a walk-through, the cooling centers would be useful.

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District 2 Task Force Gets Some Exercise In Winamac

A District 2 Task Force exercise was held in the Winamac Town Park.

The District 2 Task Force wrapped up operations yesterday in the Winamac Town Park. Sherry Fagner, District 2 Service and Support Element Leader, explains what the exercise entailed.

“What we’ve done the last two days is set up our equipment, our base camp, and completed a field operation exercise,” said Fagner. “We’ve had a lot of people in from the state and the other task forces to check out what we have. A lot of the other task forces are in the learning stage of forming their service and support groups so they came in to see what we have. We’re doing some best practices from their groups as well as with ours.”

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