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Emergency management involves planning, response, assignment and coordination of available resources, requesting of additional resources when shortfalls are observed, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery for natural or man-made emergencies. It provides for the safety of our citizens. Since most known possible hazards have been identified, we continually review and develop plans to address the needs before, during and after an emergency or disaster. We work together with our cities, neighboring counties, and Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security in order to ensure a correct and adequate response will be made in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Recently, Oconee County purchased CodeRED, which is a mass notification system that will serve multiple roles. For our citizens, as we complete training and development of the system, you will be able to receive alerts such as weather warnings, water main breaks, road closures, etc. This system is robust and will certainly allow us to communicate with the community with greater efficiency, which will in turn make Oconee County safer for all.
To sign up for CodeRED, click here: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF3A63052F22
Additionally, you can download CodeRED from the App Store or Google Play Store.
Oconee County Sheriff's Office will also utilize CodeRED in the future. For now, and until this system is fully operational, they will continue to operate the Nixle mass notification system alongside CodeRED.
We will continue to update the system and will make announcements when it is fully operational.
Create a Ready Georgia profile. Go to the following website: https://gema.georgia.gov/plan-prepare/ready-georgia and create a profile. Once the profile is created, follow the recommendations for a customized preparedness strategy for you and your household of humans and other creatures. If you follow these recommendations, you will find yourself prepared for most disasters that could come our way.
Follow National Weather Service tips. Go the following website: https://www.weather.gov/ama/severesafetytips. This will lead you to a wealth of information on tornadoes and other severe weather.
Quite simply, a severe weather watch indicates potential risk for severe weather. A warning means that severe weather has either been spotted on radar or by a spotter within that specific area.Here are the technical definitions, according to the National Weather Service:
Watch: A watch is issued when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.Warning: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
For additional weather terminology information, you may visit http://w1.weather.gov/glossary/
No! Severe weather sirens are expensive, maintenance intensive, and generally are outdated technology. Modern times have given way to methods significantly more reliable for warning citizens about coming severe weather. Those methods include NOAA weather radios, emergency messaging such as through Nixle, RELIABLE news and weather smartphone apps, and handheld lightning detectors. Additionally, Oconee EMA remains in constant communication with the National Weather Service regarding upcoming severe weather. While Oconee EMA cannot assume responsibility for brokering of weather information, the agency will communicate with governmental and private response partners regarding preparedness for severe weather. Additionally, Oconee EMA will update social media and the EMA website when time permits. We will provide you with information via the above channels in advance of a storm in order ensure ample opportunity for preparedness.
For recommendations on the smartphone apps used by EMA staff, give us a call.
In general, a state of emergency is a declaration by the government that suspends normal governmental functions, alerts citizens to alter their normal behaviors, or begins implementation of emergency preparedness plans in certain geographic regions. States of emergency are declared at the municipal, county, and state levels.
EOC stands for Emergency Operations Center. An EOC is an area set aside for use by Emergency Management during a disaster to conduct operations regarding the disaster that include conduct emergency communications, distribution of information to stakeholders and the media, and an area for elected officials. We are fortunate here in Oconee County in that our EOC is co-located with the Sheriff's Office and E-911 in Watkinsville, where we are able to make use of the EOC for multiple purposes including training and meetings for public safety personnel.
The Georgia Department of Public Health in conjunction with medical professionals all over the State of Georgia have tracked to the best of their ability the cases of COVID-19 by county and update that information as rapidly as humanly possible. Sometimes the data has a latency period of 2-3 days due to the volume of said data and the speed at which test results are returned to the epidemiologists. This is an issue of manpower. The situation report provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health provides daily updates about the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, we do not have access to the names of those infected primarily because of HIPAA regulations.