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- Attack Warning (Enemy Attack): A three (3) to five (5) minute wavering sound. Will be used only in the event of enemy attack.
- Attention or Alert (All other types of emergencies): A three (3) to five (5) minute steady blast. Will be used in time of a threatened disaster or for emergency notification.
When the sirens sound: Do not use telephones! Do not dial 911! Turn on your radio or your television to a local station to receive information or instruction. Follow instructions issued by the media from the Emergency Operations Center.
Remember the warning signals - a steady blast of three (3) to five (5) minutes means an emergency exists requiring immediate notification. Turn on your radio or your television to a local station for information regarding the emergency. (This may involve such things as evacuation of an area, or taking immediate protective shelter or cover.)
If severe weather is occurring, take cover at once. Again, listen to a local radio or television station for information. Remain in shelter or protected area until danger is over.
If evacuation is necessary due to hazardous materials incidents, floods, etc., evacuation directions and other necessary information will be broadcast over local radio and television stations.
NOTE: Sirens are tested at noon on the first day of each month for one (1) minute for each signal. If they should sound at any other time, or if they continue for longer than 1 minute, a possible emergency exists and the above instructions should be followed.
I. Tornado Spotter Course
- A one and one-half hour course conducted by a member of the U.S. Weather Service using films, slides, and lecture. This course teaches how to recognize tornadoes, and other severe weather conditions, how to disseminate warnings, and what protective measures can be taken by individuals, as well as the tornado "look-alikes" and how to recognize them. There is no charge for this class, but each class must be arranged well in advance by phoning 601.960.1476, Training Officer, Hinds County EOC or the National Weather Service Office Warning Coordination Officer in Jackson at 601.936.2189.
II. Emergency Management, USA (HS-2)
- A programmed orientation to emergency management. This is a free self-study course which provides general information about.
- Natural disaster, technological dangers, and threat of nuclear war.
- The phases of emergency management.
- The development of emergency plans to insure the safety of yourself and your family.
- To enroll in the HS-2, contact the Hinds County EOC, Training Officer at 601.960.1476 or 601.968.6771.
III. First Aid
- The Multi-media First Aid Course is an 8-hour course which can be taught in one 8-hour session, two 4-hour sessions, or four 2-hour sessions. There is a cost for the course, which covers textbooks, student manuals, and tests. Contact The American Red Cross for further information on instruction 601.353.5442.
Always have a family disaster kit and plan ready. Disasters can strike at any time, and response could be delayed as much as 72 hours after the disaster, depending on the type. Plan beforehand what your family should do and be sure each family member knows. Be prepared for any disaster before it strikes: you won't have time afterwards.
- Water: Store at least one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation). Water should be stored in plastic containers. Never ration water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow.
- Food: Store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, cooking and preparation. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following:
* Ready-to-eat meats, fruits and vegetables.
* Milk (powdered or canned).
* Smoked or dried meats like beef jerky.
* High energy foods (peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, health foods, trail mix).
* Juices (canned, powdered or crystallized).
* Stress foods (sugar cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals).
* Soups (bouillon cubes or dried "soup in a cup").
* Staples (sugar, pepper, salt).
- First Aid Kit: You should have two first aid kits - one for your home and one for your car. Check with the American Red Cross or your pharmacist about what to include in your kits. Be sure to include nonprescription drugs like aspirin, laxative, emetic, antacid, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
- Clothing and Bedding: Include at least one complete changing of clothes and footwear for everyone. Include rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, sunglasses, cold weather gear, sturdy shoes or work boots.
- Tools and Supplies: Miscellaneous items are needed in your disaster kit also. These would include but are not limited to: mess kits or paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, radio and fresh batteries, flashlights and fresh batteries, cash, can-opener, fire extinguisher (ABC type), tent, pliers and a shut off wrench, matches (in waterproof container), garbage bags, compass, aluminum foil, sanitation items, soap, household chlorine bleach, small shovel.
- Special Items: Family members with special needs - such as infants, disabled individuals, or the elderly - will need certain items that you might not normally consider. Be sure that medications, glasses, diapers, formula and bottles are included. Have some type of entertainment for children and adults. Keep important family documents or copies of such in waterproof, portable containers, such as wills, insurance papers, passports, immunization records, household inventories, birth\death certificates, bank\credit bard information.
- When a TORNADO WATCH is issued by Weather Service, be alert and listen to radio or TV for further information.
- When a TORNADO WARNING is issued or emergency sirens sound during severe weather, take immediate protective actions.
- If you see a revolving, funnel shaped cloud, take cover in the safest place nearest to where you are. If time permits, report sighting to the local EOC by dialing 911.
- Stay away from windows: glass can shatter and fly into people.
- At home, go to inside hallway, closet, or bathroom, away from windows, or get under heavy piece of furniture. If you have a basement, go there and get under a work bench or other heavy furniture. Protect your head.
- Downtown - get off street. Go into buildings away from windows or exterior areas. In shopping malls, go to designated areas in stores.
- If in car, get out and go inside building if possible. If not, get in a ditch or other low area, being cautious of possible flash flooding, or crouch down near a strong building. Cover head with hands. Do not try to outrun a tornado in a car.
- In schools, follow directions issued by authorities. Go to inside halls and crouch down against wall, covering head with hands. Keep away from room with windows or outside doors and big rooms like gyms and auditoriums.
- If you live in mobile home, get out and get to a building or lie in a ditch and cover your head with your hands.
II. Winter Storms - Ice and Snow
- Be sure you have battery operated radio and fresh batteries and flashlights or battery operated lanterns.
- Do not travel streets in icing conditions unless absolutely necessary.
- If you must go out, wear several layers of clothing; mittens are warmer than gloves; wear hat and cover ears and mouth.
- When a hurricane watch is issued for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, be alert. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are spawned by hurricanes which move inland in this area.
- Listen to weather service broadcasts on radio or TV for latest advisories.
- If severe thunderstorms develop, follow directions for actions to take and listen for current information on radio and TV.
- If you plan to visit the Gulf Coast, and a hurricane watch has been posted for that area, delay your visit until the all clear has been issued.
REMEMBER: If the emergency warning sirens sound during severe weather conditions, it could mean that a tornado is on the ground or traveling in the air over this area and confirmed by the Weather Service. TAKE COVER AT ONCE and listen to radio or TV for additional instructions.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.
However, all floods are not alike. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud, and other debris and can sweep away most things in its path.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam.
I. During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly.
If you must prepare to evacuate.
- Secure your home.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- Do not drive into flooded areas.
II. Driving Flood Facts
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
REMEMBER: TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!
III. After a Flood
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Avoid moving water.
- Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
An earthquake is defined as a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the release of energy stored in rocks. An earthquake is a natural occurrence, like rain, and earthquakes can affect almost every part of the Earth, like rain. While predictions about earthquakes in the Central United States area have been going around for years, there is a good probability for a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault in the future. A major earthquake on that fault would affect the Hinds County area, but to what extent is not known at this time. Should an earthquake occur in the area that you are in, do the following:
- DON'T PANIC! When a rolling, shaking, or quivering motion is felt in the earth or in buildings, get under a desk, tables, or in the door frames and brace yourself against movement. If outside when an earthquake occurs, try to get to a large open space as far away from trees, power lines, or buildings as you can.
- Be prepared for aftershocks that can occur within minutes to hours after an earthquake. These are natural and will be, at times, just about as strong as the main earthquake.
- Be prepared to cut off gas, water, and electricity to your home or business if necessary. Know beforehand what to do and when to cut these off.
- Have a family disaster kit on hand with enough supplies to last at lest 72 hours after the earthquake. Depending upon the type damage and the type response needed, not all areas will be able to have immediate response.
- Have a battery-powered radio on hand to be able to get news of what is going on in your area.
- Have a point of contact in another city or state that you and family members can contact and leave messages if you are not together at the time of the earthquake. Many times local phone lines will not work, whereas long distance lines will.
- If you have to leave your home, leave a note on a door so that anyone coming to your home to check on you will be able to locate you. In the note state where you are going, when you left, medical conditions of family members, and whether all family members are accounted for.
- Use extreme caution in re-entering homes or damaged buildings.
- Stay away from damaged or fallen utility lines.
- Be aware of possible gas leaks and do not strike matches or turn on fires if you suspect gas is leaking.
- If you detect leaking gas, turn off gas valve at meter and notify gas company, fire or police as soon as possible.
- Do not re-enter house until you have been told it is safe to do so, if it has been damaged.
- Turn off main electric power switch if fuses blow when power is restored after being off; have wiring inspected for short circuits by reputable contractor.
- Do not eat foods which have been damaged by water or other mediums.
- Be sure to follow advice of local authorities concerning food in freezers and refrigerators after an emergency (if your home has been damaged or power has been off for any period of time).
- Let your family know you are safe after a disaster, if possible, but do not tie up telephones with long conversation.
- DO NOT REPEAT RUMORS AFTER A DISASTER.
- STAY AWAY FROM DISASTER AREAS.
- Don't drive unless necessary. If you have to drive, use extreme caution and avoid areas where there has been damage, or where water is still over streets or in underpasses.
I. Transportation Accidents
- If you are in an area when a hazardous material incident occurs, be alert for possible spills, vapor clouds, fires or possible explosion.
- Follow instructions of police or other emergency personnel in the area.
- STAY AWAY from any area where there is an accident involving hazardous materials.
- If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
II. Fixed Facility Accidents
- Gasoline spills occur frequently at service stations. If you are present when this occurs, leave the premises as soon as possible. Do not start a car or light a cigarette.
- If told to evacuate, move rapidly away from the area.
- Do not try to drive on barricaded streets.
Members of the local emergency services area assigned to the Emergency Operations Center during any major emergency or disaster to exercise direction and control for emergency and recovery operation.
The local emergency services include:
- Elected officials of Hinds County and its municipalities.
- City and County Department Heads or their appointees.
- Central Medical Society, Hinds County Health and Human Services Department Heads or their appointees.
- Support organizations such as telephone, power and gas company representatives; emergency broadcast system radio operators; city and county school's representatives.
- Volunteer organizations such as American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
- The Emergency Operations Center staff has the responsibility to coordinate planning for emergencies; assist in organizing training programs, drills, and tests of emergency plans; and warning the public in case of emergency or a pending emergency situation.
- In the event of a major emergency or disaster, please turn on your local radio or TV station for important announcements and emergency information.
- If evacuation is necessary for any or all areas of Hinds County, this information will be broadcast over the local radio and TV station from the Emergency Operations Center
- Should an enemy attack be imminent or actually occur, the Emergency Broadcast System would go into effect, and all information and instructions to the public would be issued over local Emergency Alert AM/FM radio station in this area.
- www.ready.gov - Department of Homeland Security website on information for planning ahead for disasters
- Emergency Preparedness Resources for Businesses
- Book: H-14 In Time of Emergency, A Citizen's Handbook for Nuclear and Natural disasters
- Pamphlets on construction of fallout shelters, giving directions on construction of home fallout shelters, with materials lists, etc.
- Pamphlets covering many different types of emergencies such as nuclear preparedness, earthquake, flash flood, hurricane, thunderstorm, winter storm, heat wave, home chemical safety
Copies of pamphlets and other listed materials may be secured from:
Hinds County Department of Emergency Management
P. O. Box 22568
Jackson, MS 39225-2568
or by calling 601.960.1476 or 601.968.6771 with a request.
Some emergencies which require public warning include but are not limited to:
- Severe Weather, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, floods and flash floods.
- Railway accidents involving hazardous materials such as toxic gases, explosives, corrosives, flammables, etc.
- Airplane crashes.
- Gas main explosions; dangerous gas escaping from well-drilling operations.
- Massive fires involving possible evacuation of citizens.
- Chemical spills or other dangerous materials on the ground or in the atmosphere.
- Highway transportation accidents involving hazardous materials.