Mt. Vernon Fire Department

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PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Tornado Watches/Tornado Warnings
Warning Sirens
Thunderstorms
Tornadoes
Floods
Earthquakes
NOAA Weather Radio
Links to Sources of Weather Information
Fire Safety
Reporting an Emergency (9-1-1)

 

Tornado Watches vs. Tornado Warnings

Tornado Watch:  Tornadoes are possible.  When a tornado watch is issued, this means conditions are favorable for tornadoes in and close to the watch area.  Watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information.  Be prepared to take shelter.  If you see any rotating funnel-shaped clouds, report them immediately by telephone to the City of Mt. Vernon Police Department.

Tornado Warning:  Tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.   When a tornado warning is issued, this means that a tornado has been identified by radar or reported within Jefferson County.  Take shelter immediately.  Turn on a battery operated radio for further information.

Warning Sirens

The City of Mt. Vernon has 4 outdoor warning sirens for use during emergency situations.  These sirens are located at:  Times Square Mall, City Hall, Veterans Park and Summersville School.

The outdoor warning sirens are specifically intended to warn persons that an emergency event is imminent or has occurred. The warning siren is an attempt to get those persons inside so they can tune to a radio or television station or even listen to a weather radio for updates as to what is occurring. The outdoor warning system will be activated in the event of:

After the sirens are activated, they will sound for five minutes, at which time they automatically shut off.  During an actual warning, they are reactivated at approximately five-minute intervals, until such time that the storm has cleared the Mt. Vernon area.

The warning system consists of the outdoor warning sirens, radio announcements by the City of Mt. Vernon Fire Department and announcements by local radio and television media. As stated above, the City of Mt. Vernon performs audible tests on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. unless threatening weather is present. 

 

When you hear the warning siren, turn on either the television or radio and listen for information relating to the event.

 

Thunderstorms

What To Do Before a Thunderstorm

Learn the thunderstorm danger signs:

Have disaster supplies on hand:

Check for hazards in the yard:
Dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury and damage.

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, Police Department, Fire Department and which radio station to tune for emergency information.

Develop an emergency communication plan:
In case family members are separated from one another during a thunderstorm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact". After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.

What To Do During a Thunderstorm

If indoors:

If outdoors:

If in a car:

Estimating the Distance from a Thunderstorm

Because light travels much faster than sound, lightning flashes can be seen long before the resulting thunder is heard. Estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm by counting the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five.

Important: You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. Knowing how far away a storm is does not mean that you're in danger only when the storm is overhead.

Hail

Hail is produced by many strong thunderstorms. Hail can be smaller than a pea or as large as a softball and can be very destructive to plants and crops. In a hailstorm, take cover immediately. Pets and livestock are particularly vulnerable to hail, so bring animals into a shelter.

What To Do After a Thunderstorm

Check for injuries.
A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people. If the victim is burned, provide first aid and call emergency medical assistance immediately. Look for burns where lightning entered and exited the body. If the strike cause the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over.

Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.

Report downed utility wires.

Drive only if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads may make driving dangerous.

What To Do Before a Tornado

Conduct tornado drills each tornado season.

Designate an area in the home as a shelter and practice having everyone in the family go there in response to a tornado threat.

Discuss with family members the difference between a "tornado watch" and a "tornado warning."

A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. This is time to remind family members where the safest places within your home are located, and listen to the radio or television for further developments.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

Have disaster supplies on hand:

Develop an emergency communication plan
In case family members are separated from one another during a tornado (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.


Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.

Mobile Homes
Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit. When a tornado warning is issued, take shelter in a building with a strong foundation. If shelter is not available, lie in ditch or low-lying area a safe distance away from the unit.

Tornado Danger Signs
Learn these tornado danger signs:

REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TORNADO WATCH AND WARNING
A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. This is the time to remind family members where the safest places within your home are located, and listen to the radio or television for further developments.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

What to Do During a Tornado

If at home:

If at work or school:

If outdoors:

If in a car:

What To Do After a Tornado

When a tornado is coming, you have only a short amount of time to make life-or-death decisions. Advance planning and quick response are the keys to surviving a tornado.

Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, the elderly and people with disabilities.

 

In the event of a fire, remember time is the biggest enemy and every second counts!

Escape first, then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed. Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason; it may cost you your life.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

Earthquakes

SOME TYPES OF FIRE RELATED HAZARDS PRESENT DURING AND AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE:

CHEMICAL SAFETY

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

GAS SAFETY

GENERATOR SAFETY

HEATING SAFETY

AND REMEMBER...

Call the Mt. Vernon Fire Department Inspection Bureau at 242-6883 with any questions you may have or for further information.

What to Do Before a Flood

If Time Permits, Here Are Other Steps That You Can Take Before The Flood Waters Come

What to Do During a Flood

Once The Flood Arrives

What to Do After a Flood

After The Flood

Sources of Information

Illinois Emergency Management Agency – http://www.state.il.us/iema/

Federal Emergency Management Agency – http://www.fema.gov

American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org

National Weather Service – http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pah

National Weather Service, Paducah, KY Radar Image for Mount Vernon, IL –http://www.crh.noaa.gov/radar/loop/DS.p19r0/si.kpah.shtml

State of Illinois Public Safety - http://www.illinois.gov/safety

NOAA Weather Radio

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio has the latest weather forecasts.  The National Weather Service broadcasts weather information, including watches, warnings and advisories 24 hours a day.  Weather radio transmitters have a range of about 40 miles.  More information on radio transmitters can be found at:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htmWeather radio transmitters that are closest to Mt. Vernon are shown below.  

CITY

STATION

FREQUENCY

Marion

WXM-49

162.425 MHZ

McLeansboro

KXI-52

162.400 MHZ

Salem

KXI-49

162.475 MHZ

St. Louis, MO

KDO-89

162.550 MHZ

Reporting an Emergency (9-1-1)

To obtain the best possible police and fire response, you should be prepared to efficiently report medical, fire and police emergencies.  Some situations warrant using the 9-1-1 emergency number, while others should be phoned in to the 24 hour non-emergency line. The following guidelines are offered to assist you in determining which number to use:

 

CALL 9-1-1 FOR:

  1. All medical emergencies.
  2. Reporting a fire.
  3. Reporting a police emergency such as:

·         Any crime in progress that you are aware of or observing.

·         A crime that has just been committed against you or one that you just witnessed. For example, you have just had your purse snatched and the suspect and/or vehicle description may help the police make an apprehension.

·         A vehicle accident you have been involved in or that you have witnessed.

The 9-1-1 number can be dialed from any telephone and will go directly to the Mt. Vernon Police Department's Communication Center. The telephone and address from the location you're calling from is automatically displayed on a computer screen when your call is answered. You can also call 9-1-1from any coin operated telephone without depositing money. 

 

In order for the police to respond quickly to an emergency, let the dispatcher take command of the conversation. He or she will ask you a series of questions to learn exactly what is taking place. Depending on the type of call, the dispatcher will ask:

Speak as clearly and as calmly as you can. In an emergency, another dispatcher broadcasts the information by radio while you're still on the line. Each question that you're asked is designed to add a piece to the "picture" so that arriving officers can take precautions for what may be a dangerous situation. The more complete the picture, the quicker and safer the outcome will be for all concerned.

REPORTING A NON-EMERGENCY
(242-2131)

Most of the calls that you and your neighbors place to the Police Department are for non-emergencies. For example, if you discover that a crime has occurred such as a burglary or theft but you did not witness the incident and don't know when it happened, you should call the non-emergency line, 242-2131 (24 hours).

 

You can assist the Police Department in deterring crime by reporting potential criminal activity BEFORE a crime has been committed or completed. Following are examples of suspicious activity that you should report to the police:

 

SUSPICIOUS PERSONS

SUSPICIOUS VEHICLES

Remember:  trust your instincts.  If you observe something that just doesn't seem right, follow through. Don't say to yourself, "It's probably nothing and besides, the police are probably too busy to check it out". Actually, police officers would much rather respond to your call and have it result in a false alarm than to miss an opportunity to prevent a crime or apprehend a criminal.

 

Call the Mt. Vernon Police Department at 242-2131 with any questions or for further information.