Homeland security is among the many issues we work on and currently is a significant focus of Midland County’s emergency preparedness efforts. Here is some important information for you and your family.
An act of terrorism or act of violence is possible virtually anywhere in the United States. That fact makes terrorism an emergency preparedness issue for us just like it is for everyone else. While the federal government works to prevent such things from happening, agencies throughout Midland County are planning, training and equipping themselves for responding to terrorism just like they have for floods, fires, tornadoes, chemical emergencies and other disasters. There are no less than fifty agencies within Midland County that have an active part in our emergency operations planning. The federal government is assisting us by providing funds for equipment, training, and in some cases personnel.
The 7 Signs of Terrorism Streaming Video
"The 7 Signs of Terrorism" is a program produced by the Michigan State Police Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division to help citizens recognize suspicious activity that could be related to terrorist planning efforts. The 7 Signs of Terrorism DVD is available free of charge from the Office of Emergency Management. We'll be happy to send a copy of the DVD to you, or watch the video through the following link.
7 Signs of Terrorism Video
WMV file, requires Windows Media Player
National Terrorism Advisory System
The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The new system is designed to provide timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector. NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available. These alerts will include a clear statement that there is either an imminent threat or an elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat. NTAS Alerts will contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date that the alert expires.
NTAS Alerts will be issued in a variety of ways, including directly to the public via the following channels:
Via the DHS NTAS webpage - http://www.dhs.gov/alerts
Via email signup at - http://www.dhs.gov/alerts
Via Facebook at - http://facebook.com/NTASAlerts
Via Twitter at - http://www.twitter.com/NTASAlerts
Local officials will react to a terrorist threat based on information specific to the event. Information is provided to Midland County by the Michigan State Police, FBI and other state and federal authorities. This information includes whether or not there are threats specific to locations in Michigan including Midland County. If necessary, emergency instructions will be provided through radio, television, Nixle, Facebook, and 1-888-TELL-MORE. When any large-scale emergency or disaster occurs, no matter what the cause, the same avenues will be used to send out emergency instructions and information. They include our emergency information hotline 1-888-TELL-MORE, local cable access channels 96 and 99 on Charter Communications, WMPX 1490 AM radio and other local radio and television stations.
Assembling a 72-Hour Family Survival Kit
In a disaster situation food, water and electricity can be cut off for days. By preparing emergency provisions you can turn what could be a life threatening situation into a manageable problem. Typically families should be prepared to take care of themselves for up to 72 hours after an emergency occurs. In order to do this you must put together a kit containing things that are required to meet the essential needs of your family. There are six basics that should be stocked in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items.
Water. One gallon of water per family member per day should be stored. A family of four should store at least 12 gallons of water. This amount should be enough for drinking, food preparation and sanitation for 72 hours.
Food. A supply of non-perishable food should be stored. Keep foods in supply that require no refrigeration, cooking or preparation. Some examples are: ready to eat canned meats and fish; fruits and vegetables; smoked or dried meats; crackers; nuts; health food bars; hard candy; vitamins. Food should be rotated out of the kit at least every six months.
First Aid. First aid kits should be kept in your home and in each vehicle. The American Red Cross is a good source for pre-assembled first aid kits containing a variety of supplies. The American Red Cross Midland-Gladwin Chapter also provides first aid and CPR training. Contact them at (989) 631-3262 for more information.
Tools and Supplies. Some key supplies for your 72-hour kit include:
- Battery operated radio
- Swiss Army Knife
- Fire Extinguisher
- Paper and Pencil
- Toilet paper
- Toothpaste and Toothbrush
Clothing and Bedding. Boots, rain gear, hats, gloves, blankets and sleeping bags are all good items to include in your emergency kit.
Special Items. These items are specific to the needs of your family. They may include prescription drugs, eyeglasses, baby formula, diapers, games, books, magazines, and copies of important family documents.
The 72-hour kit should be as compact as possible. If you have a large family and you include all the items suggested, the kit will be quite large. However, if items are selected and packed carefully in a duffel bag or plastic storage container, storage should not be difficult. Many of the supplies can be placed inside water-proof plastic storage bags for extra protection.
Tips on Developing a Family Emergency Plan
Meet as a family to discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the hazards of severe weather, floods, fires and chemical emergencies. Select a place to meet outside if a sudden emergency such as a fire forces you out of the house. Select a location to meet at if an emergency happens while the family is away from home and cannot return. Make certain that each family member knows the address and telephone number of the location chosen. Make arrangements with someone outside of the community to act as a central point of contact for your relatives and friends who may attempt to call you following a disaster. After a disaster it's often easier to call long distance than to call locally. As soon as possible after a disaster, get word of your situation to the contact person. Each family member should know the contact person and telephone number in case the family is separated. Family members can each call the contact person and tell him or her where they are. Make certain that all your close friends and relatives know who the contact person is and how to reach him or her.
Keep a family emergency kit ready in your home and car. An emergency generator is a good resource to have on hand when power outages occur do to damage caused by severe weather. If you have children, familiarize yourself with school emergency plans. Learn your emergency plan at work. Learn first aid and CPR. Do your best to stay informed.
Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Planning ahead and making provision for your family's needs will make a positive difference when an emergency occurs.