Franklin County Emergency Management

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on the questions listed below to learn more about Franklin County Emergency Management and emergency preparedness.

 
What does Emergency Management do?
I hear the outdoor warning sirens sounding. What should I do?
Why can't I hear the sirens indoors?
What should I do to be prepared in case of an emergency?
Why is planning so important?
I have a disability. If there is an emergency at work, what should I do to be prepared there?
I use a wheelchair and live alone. What should I do to be prepared in case of an emergency?
What will Franklin County do for me in an emergency since I have a disability?
What is my neighborhood has to be evacuated? What will Franklin County do for me?
Does Franklin County have shelters if we have to evacuate or relocate?
How does Franklin county prepare for a disaster?
Who will determine what areas needs to be evacuated?
Are evacation routes identified with signs?
Will Franklin County provide me with transportation to evacuate?
What do I do with my pet in a disaster?
My neighbor has no radio, television, or phone? How will he/she get the word of what to do during a disaster?
What should I do in case of fire?
What happens when I call 9-1-1?
What does HazMat mean?
What is the difference between a watch and a warning?
How can I find out if my home is in a flood plain and what does that mean?
 

 

Q: What does Emergency Management do?

Emergency Management has, in part, the following responsibilities:

  • prepare and maintain Local, State and Federally approved Emergency Disaster plans
  • assist businesses and other departments within the Cities and County with developing contingency emergency plans
  • locate and secure resources from within and outside the County
  • regularly execute drills to ensure the highest possible state of readiness
  • develop and maintain volunteer groups with appropriate training to assist in situations
  • disseminate information regarding disaster and emergency preparedness.

Q: I hear the outdoor warning sirens sounding. What should I do?

Don't call 911 or the Police Department. Go indoors and turn on your TV or radio for more information.

 

Q: Why can't I hear the sirens indoors?

The sirens are meant for outdoor warning. Depending on things like how far you live from a siren or if you have a noisy air conditioner, you may or may not be able to hear it indoors. For indoor warning, a weather alert radio can be purchased. Weather alert radios can be programmed for your area to warn of severe weather.

 

Q: What should I do to be prepared in case of an emergency?

Everyone should prepare an "emergency response plan" for themselves for home, office and while traveling. This plan should include who you will contact out of the area should an emergency occur, family emergency numbers, school contacts, an emergency meeting place for the family, and local contacts. Other pertinent information specific to you might include medical information, such as chronic conditions, medications that you use regularly and physician/pharmacy phone numbers. Make sure you discuss your plans with your loved ones and co-workers and give them copies of your plan.

Information is available the Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross websites. In an emergency, local TV/radio stations will provide emergency information.

You also want to be prepared to "shelter in place" for 3 days. (For example, a big snow storm.) To shelter comfortably, you will want to have the basics: 1 gallon of water per person per day, food and manual can opener, a week's supply of prescription medication, battery powered radio, with extra batteries, extra batteries for hearing aids or other assistive devices, flashlight with extra batteries, a list of contacts with family members, friends, doctors, and first aid supplies. Any items you normally use that you would need for 3 days should an emergency occur should also be included. If you have a pet, you will need 3 days supply of food and water for each pet. Should you have to evacuate, these supplies should go with you.

It is also a very good idea to have a "go bag" ready in case you have to evacuate either your home or work place. This small bag could include those personal items you would need if you had to leave without any notice as well as copies of financial records, pet's veterinarian records, extra keys for house and car, cash, spare glasses or other special needs items, such as medications, batteries for assistive devices and copies of family documents.

For sheltering longer than 3 days, or if you have to evacuate, you may also want to include blankets and bedding, garbage bags, extra sets of clothes, pet carrier, litter, bags, water for pets, and personal hygiene items with the go bag items.

 

Q: Why is planning so important?

It is everyone's responsibility to be prepared for any emergency. Initially, emergency services will be consumed with responding to the disaster. It is up to each of us to prepare. Planning in advance will help you, your family and friends manage an emergency in a calm and effective way, which will help keep you safe.

 

Q: I have a disability. If there is an emergency at work, what should I do to be prepared there?

Make sure you have a "go bag" at work, so if you have to shelter in place, or evacuate, you will have your necessary supplies. Make sure you have prepared in advance, your emergency response plan. Ask your supervisor for the company's emergency plan and make sure you understand fully what their plans and policies are. You may also want to plan and practice an evacuation if the company does not routinely offer drills. If you have to evacuate and will need assistance, make sure you plan with a co-worker or two in advance so they can provide assistance.

 

Q: I use a wheelchair and live alone. What should I do to be prepared in case of an emergency?

You should be prepared to shelter in place for 3 days using the above supplies as a guide. Visit the web sites mentioned previously for additional information regarding supplies. In addition, you should make sure you have an emergency response plan that you have prepared in advance with a friend, neighbor, or family member who can provide assistance to you, in the event of an emergency where you are unable to manage alone.

 

Q: What will Franklin County do for me in an emergency since I have a disability?

Franklin County is offering emergency preparedness programs to explain what any individual can do for his or herself in an emergency, such as making sure you have your supplies where you can easily and quickly access them. The County can also provide some resources to help you make your individual emergency plan. During an emergency, the County's resources may be scarce. That is why we encourage all residents to plan in advance, with neighbors, friends and family so should you need assistance, you have people you can call on.

 

Q: What is my neighborhood has to be evacuated? What will Franklin County do for me?

In the unlikely event an evacuation order is issued, communication to the public is of the utmost importance. An evacuation order would specify the perimeters of the area to be evacuated as well as directing residents to available shelters. Residents of areas not in the defined area might be directed to stay where they are (shelter-in-place). Emergency Management foresees that implementing plans to shelter-in-place would ensure the safety of citizens based on the most likely scenarios which have historically occurred in Franklin County.

Although dealing with any disaster in the County will be paramount, the continuity of operations of Cities and County Government must be maintained. Our emergency support functions, have established contingency plans to maintain operations to the entire County, even those who may not be affected by disaster.

 

Q: Does Franklin County have shelters if we have to evacuate or relocate?

Yes. Franklin County has numerous facilities that have been identified and equipped to serve as shelters. These locations are not published in advance as many factors will determine which shelter(s) would be opened. Some of these factors include the size and severity of the disaster, the location of the disaster area and the numbers of people requiring shelter.

 

Q: How does Franklin county prepare for a disaster?

In order to prepare for a disaster, Emergency Management regularly conducts practical exercises within the County and in conjunction with other assets to refine our emergency management skills, and to evaluate our capability levels for dealing with a possible disaster situation.

These exercises imagine incident-based scenarios that could occur and the County's proposed response to the situation, based on available resources. The learning experiences gained from these exercises allow emergency managers to act as facilitators to emergency responders by providing support, expertise, and avenues to obtain resources that may be required to manage a particular incident.

Being aware and staying informed is key to reducing threats to life or property during a disaster. The Office of Emergency Management's role is to support the City and County's infrastructure, public safety agencies, continuity of government operations, and to provide reliable and timely information to the public at a time of disaster. The Emergency Operations Plan provides guidance across City and County departments, agencies and response organizations by describing an overall emergency response system.

Individuals should have prepared an Emergency Response Plan for both the home and office. People should also include disabled relatives and neighbors in their Personal Emergency Response Plan. Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are required by law to have an established plan to deal with emergencies and care needs of their residents.

To further assist you, links are also available to the Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross.

 

Q: Who will determine what areas needs to be evacuated?

The Incident Command Team will make that determination based on the circumstances of the incident to insure the safety of life and property. The Incident Commander will be a high ranking official of whichever City or County agency has the lead role in the incident, (Fire, Police, Public Health, etc.).

 

Q: Are evacuation routes identified with signs?

No. Since it is impossible to determine which route would be a safe route prior to an incident, permanent signs are not in place. Information as to safe routes to use would be given along with an evacuation order. Our plans stress situational flexibility.

 

Q: Will Franklin County provide me with transportation to evacuate?

In most cases, no. County resources will be stretched dealing with the incident. Most perceived possible scenarios affecting Franklin County would be limited evacuations, both in size and distance. Most evacuations would be to other areas of the City or County, not to other geographic areas. Your personal plan should include transportation out of the affected area. The transportation could include personal vehicle, carpool, public transportation, or walking.

 

Q: What do I do with my pet in a disaster?

You should make prior arrangements with your veterinarian or boarding facility for pet care. The U.S. Humane Society and Animal Rescue League provide guidance to this topic.

 

Q: My neighbor has no radio, television, or phone? How will he/she get the word of what to do during a disaster?

If time is available, emergency personnel with public address systems will enter the area and attempt to spread the word. Knock on your neighbor's if it is safe to do so and assist in his/her safety.

 

Q: What should I do in case of fire?

If the fire is in your house, get out and call 9-1-1 from another location. If you see a fire somewhere else, try to give the telecommunicators as much information about what is on fire and where as possible.

 

Q: What happens when I call 9-1-1?

If the call is an emergency a Telecommunicator will ask you important questions as to where the call is, and what type of call it is. Stay on the line and answer the questions. This does not slow down dispatch. During an emergency call, another Telecommunicator is dispatching the proper agencies while you are answering the questions.

 

Q: What does HazMat mean?

This is an acronym which refers to hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are chemicals, hydrocarbons, or other man-made compounds that have accidentally been released from their containers.

 

Q: What is the difference between a watch and a warning?

A watch simply means conditions are favorable for something to happen. A warning means it is eminent or currently happening.

 

Q: How can I find out if my home is in a flood plain and what does that mean?

Contact the Franklin County Zoning Department. They can give you information as to whether you are in the flood plain. Being in a flood plain means that you live in an area subject to flooding by creeks or rivers leaving their banks because of heavy rains, snow run-offs, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Emergency Management
Contact Information

Law Enforcement Center
105 5th St. SW
PO Box 57
Hampton, Iowa 50441

Phone: 641-456-6032
Fax: 641-456-6037

EMA Coordinator

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