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Welcome to the Linn County Emergency Management Agency

Linn Co. EMAWe are the “what if” agency?  What if the “it can’t happen here” happens?   The mission of the Linn County Emergency Management Agency is to assure the coordination of the activities of City and County government, State and Federal entities, citizens, businesses, adjacent jurisdictions, and other disaster partners, to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate major emergencies and disasters within Linn County.

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Job Announcement

Linn County Emergency Management Agency is seeking applicants for the position of Emergency Management Specialist. This position has an emphasis on planning and exercise development. Linn County maintains a local emergency management plan with associated emergency support functions (ESF). An understanding of radiological emergency planning is a plus as Linn County develops, maintains and revises numerous plans relating to the FEMA NUREG-654 associated with the Duane Arnold (Nuclear) Energy Center which is located in Linn County.

The announcement can be found at:http://agency.governmentjobs.com/linncountyia/default.cfm?action=viewclassspec&classSpecID=1027182&agency=2083&viewOnly=yes 

Linn County Human Resources is handling our job vacancy process – www.linncounty.org. Please visit their site for the official version and instructions.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2014, 11:30 a.m.

Disaster Drill to be Conducted at Abbe Center next Wednesday

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – September 19, 2014 – The Cedar Rapids Police Department and other public safety agencies will be conducting a mock disaster drill involving an active shooter scenario at the Abbe Center, 1860 County Home Road, Marion next week.  The emergency preparedness drill will take place on Wednesday, September 24th in the afternoon and will allow participating agencies the opportunity to be evaluated on their unified response to a simulated active shooter incident.

Citizens should be aware that the drill is a commitment by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and other participating agencies to improve safety and multi-agency response coordination.  There will be about 100 actors playing victim roles.  The actors include nursing and law enforcement students, volunteer firefighters, and other volunteers recruited by the Linn County Emergency Management Agency.  The drill is being monitored by multiple safety controllers.

The Abbe Center property will not be accessible to the general public; however the media is invited to cover the drill for purposes of educating and informing the public on this joint response initiative.  Members of the media are asked to arrive at the Linn County Conservation building adjacent to the Abbe Center at 2:15 p.m. for a briefing about the drill.  Immediately following the briefing, the media will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and take photos and/or video of portions of the drill.

The following agencies are participating in the drill:  Cedar Rapids Police Department, Marion Fire Department, Marion Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, United States Marshals Service, Cedar Rapids Joint Communications Center, and Linn County Emergency Management Agency.

No further information is available at this time.

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PrepareChat – Learn the Actions to Get Prepared

Did you know one of the main reasons people don’t get prepared is because they don’t know what to do? On September 23 from 2-3 PM EST America’s PrepareAthon!, the Ready campaign, the National Weather Service, and the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors, including the Koshland Science Museum and Property Casualty Insurers, will hold a TweetChat. During the chat, experts will be live on Twitter to offer some simple low and no cost preparedness actions you can take between now and September 30—National PrepareAthon! Day—to get prepared for any disaster.

  • Date:   September 23, 2014
  • Time:   2-3 PM (EST)
  • Hashtag: #PrepareChat
  • Location: Online via Twitter

Natural disasters can happen at any time, so proper planning and practicing protective actions is essential. We will be answering questions submitted by participants during the TweetChat. If you have questions in advance about what actions to take before, during or after a disaster that you would like to see addressed during the TweetChat, you can send them by 5:00 PM (EST) on September 22 to @PrepareAthon.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 15, 2014

CONTACT: HSEMDPIO@iowa.gov or (515) 725-3231

Iowa communities are prepared for emergencies and disasters

DES MOINES – During September’s Preparedness Month, when individuals and families are urged to take steps to be ready for emergencies and disasters, it’s important to know that communities are also taking steps to be more prepared.

During an emergency or disaster, the preparedness of a community has a direct impact on its ability to respond and recover. In Iowa, local emergency managers, volunteers and businesses are taking a variety of measures to ensure their citizens, businesses and neighborhoods are prepared.

Local emergency management agencies are the backbone of the state’s emergency management system. They ensure the emergency responders in each county have adequately planned, and are well-equipped, trained and exercised for emergencies and disasters. Local emergency managers serve as a vital link with state government to ensure needed resources are delivered during disasters, and to assist in recovery efforts.

Volunteers are another valuable resource for communities impacted by disasters. A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is comprised of volunteers who are trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire suppression and first aid. CERT members become an important part of a community’s response in the aftermath of a disaster when emergency services may not be immediately available to every neighborhood. Iowa currently has 41 CERTs throughout the state to assist local first responders. For information on Iowa’s CERTs, visit www.beready.iowa.gov. In addition, the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council, comprised of faith-based, voluntary and government agency representatives, helps to identify and address the unmet needs of citizens impacted by disasters and assists with the coordination of volunteers and donations. More on the IDHRC can be found at https://iavoad.communityos.org/cms/ andwww.beready.iowa.gov/get_involved/idhrc.html.

Businesses also play a vital role in the preparedness of communities. Through the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP), more than 200 businesses in Iowa have taken steps to ensure their businesses, and their employees, are prepared for disasters. During disasters, SIP supports government and business communication and coordination through the private-sector liaison program in conjunction with the local and state emergency operations centers to provide resources and share critical information between government and businesses. Find out more about the Safeguard Iowa Partnership and free preparedness resources for businesses at www.safeguardiowa.org.

There are many more emergency resources in place in Iowa communities. For more information, contact your local emergency management agency. Contact information is available on the HSEMD website www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov under the “County EM” tab.

Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.

For more information on Preparedness Month, visit www.beready.iowa.gov.

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200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER

    On September 13, 1814 Francis Scott Key penned the poem The Star Spangled Banner that would later be set to music and become our national anthem. 2014 marks the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, and schools, and community organizations around the country have been called to participate in this celebration. Please take a moment this week to reflect on the important and longevity of this important piece of music. Initiate a group sing-along at your business or organization.  For more information on this historical piece of music  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR DRILL!!!!!!

Emergency Management is assisting the Cedar Rapids Police Department with an Active shooter Drill and we need approximately one hundred volunteer’s actors to be part of the drill scenario. The drill is on September 24th at 2PM. This dill will involve Federal, State and local EOD ”Bomb Squads” and Tactical Response Teams as well local EMS and Fire services. Approximately thirty volunteers will be moulaged with injuries. If you can assist or would like more information please contact Tom Ulrich at 319-892-6502 or email tom.ulrich@linncounty-ema.org This is one of the largest and most complex exercises in the state and should be very exciting.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 9, 2014

CONTACT: HSEMDPIO@iowa.gov or (515) 725-3231

 Young Iowans urged to prepare for emergencies

DES MOINES – Whether at home or at school, children need to know what to do in emergencies and disasters. During Preparedness Month in September, parents and educators are being urged to help young Iowans learn how they can be more prepared.

Children should be active participants in disaster planning. By getting them involved early, it will help alleviate their fears as well as prepare them to take action in an emergency situation. The more they help plan, the more ready they will be.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the Iowa School Safety Coalition (ISSC) have teamed up to offer some tips on emergency preparedness for kids, parents and educators.

  • Get children involved in creating a family emergency plan. Talk about the plan on a regular basis to help them remember what they should do and where they should go during an emergency.
  • Have them help to assemble an emergency supply kit and make sure they know where that kit is located.
  • Talk about the different types of emergencies and what they should do for each.
  • Talk with them about emergencies that could happen when they are at school and what they should do.

“While the focus of the Iowa School Safety Coalition is assisting schools, we recognize that prepared students contribute to the overall preparedness of their families, schools and communities,” said Mary Gannon, chair of the ISSC and attorney at the Iowa Association of School Boards.

Preparedness resources for kids, parents and educators are available at www.beready.iowa.gov and www.ready.gov/kids.

Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies. For more information on Preparedness Month, visit www.beready.iowa.gov.

The ISSC, formed in 2012, provides schools with a number of resources, including the Iowa School Safety Guide to provide a planning resource when creating school safety plans. To learn more, visit www.iowaschoolsafety.org.

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NEWS AND UPDATES

September is Preparedness Month in Iowa

DES MOINES – Governor Terry E. Branstad has proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Iowa.

“This past summer’s severe weather and flooding are a reminder that disasters can, and do, happen in our state and that is why I have proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Iowa,” said Branstad. “I am asking Iowans to take steps now to prepare themselves and their families for any emergency.”

During September all Iowans are urged to become more prepared by taking three simple steps:

Step 1: Build a kit. During an emergency, there are items you and your family will need. Build an emergency supply kit and keep it in a place where it will be easy to grab if you need to quickly leave your home.

Step 2: Make a plan. You and your family may not be together when an emergency happens, so knowing what to do, where you will go, and how to get in touch with each other is important.

Step 3: Be aware. When bad weather is in the forecast, pay attention to the news, sign up for alerts for your mobile phone, and use your NOAA weather radio to receive weather and other emergency alerts.

Helping older Iowans prepare

It’s important to plan for those with special needs, such as the older members of your family and community.

“It can be as simple as talking to older loved ones and neighbors about what they would do if a tornado or flood impacted their community,” said Donna Harvey, director of the Iowa Department on Aging (IDA). “Do they know where they would go to shelter or how they would find transportation if they needed to evacuate their home?”

The three simple preparedness steps are important, and the IDA and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also encourage older Iowans to take some special measures to ensure they are ready for emergencies, such as:

  • Creating a support network. Think about the assistance you would need during a disaster and enlist family and friends who can help.
  • Including medications in your emergency supply kit and keeping a copy of your prescriptions in your kit.
  • If using medical equipment that requires electricity, talking to your doctor or medical equipment supplier about what you would do if you lost power.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging website.

Not only is September Preparedness Month, but Sept. 7 is Grandparents Day, a perfect opportunity to give grandparents the gift of preparedness.

In addition to reaching out to older family members and neighbors to help them with their emergency planning, other appropriate gifts for grandparents, and all older Iowans, are emergency kits and weather radios.

Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies and disasters.

For more information on Preparedness Month and the three simple steps that all Iowans can take to preparedness, visit the Ready Iowa website. To view the Governor’s proclamation, visit the HSEMD website.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.

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Media Release

Date: July 8, 2014

Time: 17:00

Contact: Mike Goldberg, Director

Linn County Emergency Management Agency

319-721-8999 (cell)

Linn County, Iowa – Linn County Emergency Management has arranged for assistance from Neighbors Across the Land Disaster Relief and Recovery http://www.natldrr.org/ . They are affiliated with the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council. Their primary mission will be to provide chain saw teams to assist the groups identified below. They will also assist with basement muck out and other tasks.

Their mission is to provide assistance to:

Veterans

  • Elderly (unable to complete the task without assistance)
  • Low Income (Initially using same threshold as Iowa Individual Assistance Program)
  • Persons with Functional Needs
  • Non-Profits

Please call 2-1-1 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday – Friday to register for volunteer assistance. 2-1-1 will accept requests from all areas of Linn County – incorporated and unincorporated - that have been affected by the flash flood and wind events that occurred last week.

2-1-1 will forward request for volunteer assistance to the Disaster Volunteer Coordination Team from LAP-AID (Linn Area Partners Active in Disasters) which will be setting up operation in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) tomorrow. The Disaster Volunteer Coordination Team will match up requests for volunteers with offers from people wishing to volunteer.

For chain saw team requests, a site visit will be made by a team member to determine if the task is within the scope of their capabilities and mission. An authorization to perform the work will be required by the team prior to beginning any work.

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Severe Weather Refresher

With our entry into this severe weather season our agency would like remind people to be prepared.  Being prepared and acting quickly could be a matter of survival.  BE Alert!  Listen to the weather forecast on radio or television and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

In Linn County the outdoor warning sirens will be sounded for  tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings with 70 mph winds or greater or golf ball size hail or larger.  If the outdoor warnings sound SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY and tune in to local radio, television, or use your NOAA Weather Radio to listen for emergency information.

Shelter Options:

In a structure go to a predesignated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level, away from corners, windows, doors, or outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

In a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home–GET OUT IMMEDIATELY and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If caught outside lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Do NOT get under an overpass or bridge; you are safer in low flat location. Watch out for flying debris, this is the biggest cause of fatalities and injuries.

Active Shooter Information

The Linn County Emergency Management Agency hosted ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter and escape) training on February 25 and 26.  Representatives from hospitals, schools, and law enforcement agencies throughout Linn, Benton, Jones, and Johnson counties took part in this two-day training program that included classroom and realistic “active shooter” scenarios.   This training is designed to assist schools, businesses, law enforcement, and other entities with planning and reacting to armed intruders.  Click here for the story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette. 2012 IA School Safety Guide

Earlier this year, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division put in place a new school safety guide to assist schools in making plans and establishing procedures to make their facilities, students and staff safer.  This guide covers a variety of emergencies, including how to respond to an intruder with a gun who enters their school intending to do harm.  VIEW THE 2012 SCHOOL SAFETY GUIDE

Active Shooter Awareness Video The City of Houston developed a training video on active shooter response based on guidance from the Department of Homeland Security.  Click here to watch. Year-Round Weather Radio Programing Service Linn County Emergency Management Agency will provide year-round assistance with programming or re-programming of weather alert radios.   It is important that alert radios be functioning year-round and not forgotten after the severe weather season.  These alert radios are a proven tool in the public warning system and we want to help citizens keep them in good working order throughout the year. A resident with a programming issue with a weather alert radio anytime during the year should call 319-892-6503 to make arrangements with Brad Ransford, Logistics Officer.

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