Local Emergency Planning Committee Brainstorms Ideas for Grant Application

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier alerted members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee that she has received permission to proceed with the LEPC Grant process.

She mentioned that the grant is due July 13th and it is offered through the Indiana Emergency Response Commission. She said she wasn’t given a specific cap but she was told they could potentially apply for up to $10,000. Continue reading

Starke County COAD Seeks Community Leaders to Serve on Their Board

Starke County COAD is looking to establish a board that will be responsible for running operations.

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier has been getting the organization off the ground but she said ultimately, it is meant to be run by community members. Though the idea was brought up during their meeting Tuesday night, the current members decided to wait to establish a board until more members are in attendance. Continue reading

The Public is Welcome to Join Tonight’s Meeting of the Starke County Organizations Active in Disaster

Members of the Starke County Organizations Active in Disaster or COAD will meet tonight at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Facilitated by Starke County EMA Director J. Nier, members of this organization are working to develop a local network of individuals who will be ready to act when a disaster strikes.

The group met for the first time back in April, where some government officials, church leaders, members of the medical community and other concerned citizens discussed the areas that need improvement when it comes to disaster response in the county. Continue reading

UPDATED: Voluntary Evacuation Alert Announced Due to Expected River Surges

Starke County Emergency Management Officials have announced a voluntary evacuation alert due to a possible surge of flood waters affecting the Yellow and Kankakee Rivers over the next 24 hours.

UPDATE 8:00 p.m: Officials with Knox Community School Corporation are reporting that the temporary response site has been moved to Knox Middle School. Residents are asked to utilize the doors in the back by the bus parking lot (door #8). Additionally, the Red Cross has a site set up at Plymouth High School as well.

Residents in low lying areas near both rivers and those who live by any drainage ditches connected to the rivers are being advised that a shelter is being established at Knox Middle School should any residents feel it necessary to evacuate.

According to EMA Director J. Nier the areas in the City of Knox that may be affected include:

North side of Washington St from Sellers Ave to US 35
Sellers Ave North of John St
Parkview area: Residences West of Portland St
Ruthie Drive
Pacific Ave
North of Culver Rd between 200 East and 250 East. Continue reading

“Orange Watch” Travel Advisory to be Implemented Over Night

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier announced that the travel advisory will be switching to an “orange” watch overnight.

According to Indiana Department of Homeland Security, that means conditions will be threatening to the safety of the public. During a watch local travel advisory only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended. Emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations that remain open.

Starke County Emergency Planning Committee Kick-Off Meeting Scheduled for January

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier {Nigh-er} officially assumed her position back in early October. Currently, she’s working on organizing a meeting for the Starke County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for January of next year.

Director Nier stated the responsibilities of the EMA include promoting preparedness and acting a logistical support for first responders. The LEPC specifically deals with tracking where hazardous materials are within the community and coming up with plans to take action on potential spills if they occur. Continue reading

EMA Officials Assessing Storm Damage

Storm DamageVolunteer firefighters and Starke County Highway Department employees are clearing roads this morning after strong storms tore through the area late last night. Most of the downed trees are in the Washington Township area east of Knox, according to Starke County Emergency Management officials, who note some have electric lines in them. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Preparing for Winter Wrath

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials are keeping a close eye on the weather and may issue travel restrictions if necessary. Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the county commissioners have the final say and consider several factors, including the safety of snow plow drivers, first responders and the public in general.

He adds the county highway and EMA have been rehearsing their response to a winter weather emergency since late summer.

“We’re kind of like the fashion stores where in the winter time they’ve got the swimsuits out. We’re always preparing a season ahead. The drivers have been out practicing their areas.” Continue reading