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5 Ways to Prep Your Pet for Emergencies

Your pet is family. Their safety and well-being is a priority for you every day, but have you thought about what you would do with your pet in an emergency?

Many people don’t think about being prepared until an emergency is at their doorstep. When disaster strikes, they may choose to ignore evacuation orders because they don’t know what to do with their pets. Try to imagine having to make the decision to leave your pet behind during a flood, fire, or other emergency.

Although you can never completely control what will happen during an emergency, you can take steps to be as prepared as possible in advance. By taking some easy actions now, you can avoid having to make difficult and dangerous decisions during an emergency.

  1. Get you pet micro-chipped.
  2. Prepare a disaster kit for your pet ahead of time.
  3.  Plan where your pet will stay in case you need to evacuate.
  4. Use a buddy system with friends, family, and neighbors in case you’re not home during an emergency.
  5. Practice evacuating or sheltering in place with your pet.

Click on this to link for the Pet Preparedness Page.



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Cybersecurity Awareness


The STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. We each have to do our part to keep the Internet safe. When we all take simple steps to be safer online, it makes using the Internet a more secure experience for everyone. 


Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.


Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.


Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.


Securing one citizen, one family, one Nation against cyber threats.

Visit for more information on how to get involved with the Stop.Think.Connect.  Campaign.


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Winter Weather Preparedness

Before the Storm Arrives…

  • Winterize Your Home

    • Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction.
    • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
    • Insulate walls and attic.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
    •  Prevent your pipes from freezing.
      • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
      • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
      • Know how to shut off water valves.
  • Have Emergency Supplies on Hand in Case the Power Goes Out

    • Flashlight and portable radio, plus extra batteries for both
    • First Aid Kit
    • At least 3-5 days supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is off)
    • Non-electric can opener
    • At least a week’s supply of all essential medications, extra blankets and sleeping bags
    • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type)
  •  Develop an Emergency Plan

    • In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm, 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.
    • Make sure all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police or fire department, and which radio station to listen to for emergency information.
  •  Pack a Winter Car Kit

    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Radio with extra batteries
    • Ice Scraper/snow brush
    • Car cell phone charger
    • Sand or kitty litter for better tire traction
    • Tire chains or ropes
    • Jumper cables
    • Extra set of clothes, hats, and gloves
    • Blankets
    • Energy-filled food and water
    • First aid kit
    • Flares or Reflective triangle
    • Matches
  • Prepare Your Vehicle for Emergencies
    Have a mechanic check the following on your vehicle prior to an emergency

    • Antifreeze levels
    • Battery and ignition system
    • Brakes
    • Exhaust system
    • Fuel and air filters
    • Heater and defroster
    • Lights and flashing hazard lights
    • Oil
    • Thermostat
    • Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level
  •  Vehicle Safety Tips for emergencies

    • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outage. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
    • Install good winter tires and ensure they have adequate tread or any jurisdiction-required chains or studs.
    • Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to loose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
    • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
    • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
    • If there is an explosion or other factor that makes it difficult to control the vehicle, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
    • If the emergency could impact the physical stability of the roadway avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs, and other hazards.

If you are under a winter storm warning, find shelter right away

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite
  • Check on the neighbors.

During a Winter Storm or Blizzard

If You Are Indoors

  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Conserve heat. Lower the thermostat to 65°F during the day and 55°F at night. Close off unused rooms.
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation and wrap them in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold or most likely to be penetrated by the cold.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for current information.

If You Are Outdoors

  • Dress warmly in loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers create warmth when touching.
  • If you shovel snow, stretch to help warm up your body. Also, take frequent breaks.
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow can bring on a heart attach or make other medical conditions worse.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value.

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND-Frostbite and Hypothermia

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness.
    • Actions: go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first-chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.
  • Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine or alcohol in it. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart. Both can hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings

  • A winter storm watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area.
  • winter storm warning indicates that severe winter weather conditions are definitely on the way or are already here.
  • blizzard warning means that large amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours.

        If you don’t have to drive, don’t.

Pay attention to the news.

Local radio and television stations provide up-to-date weather information. Investing in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio is another way to receive weather and other emergency alerts. In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation offers real-time information on current road conditions on their website or by calling 5-1-1.

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Preparedness Information

Be Prepared All Year Long

Gov. Kim Reynolds has proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Iowa.

Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies. Iowa’s Preparedness Month is sponsored each year by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), the Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA), the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP), and the National Weather Service (NWS).

“We all have a role to play in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our state,” said HSEMD Director Joyce Flinn. “While we can’t control the weather and its impacts, we can plan ahead so we know how to survive when emergencies and disasters occur.”

Thomas Craighton, president of IEMA and Hardin County Emergency Management Director, said that while local emergency managers help to ensure responders in each county are ready for emergencies and disasters, citizens have a role to play, too. “Disasters begin and end in our neighborhoods and home towns,” said Craighton. “It’s important that citizens take responsibility for their own preparedness.”

During Preparedness Month, HSEMD, IEMA, SIP, and NWS are urging Iowans to take simple steps to ensure they and their families are prepared. Those steps are to make an emergency plan, build an emergency kit, and be aware of hazards in your area. For more on the three simple steps to preparedness, visit More Information can also be found at  (select the Readiness Tab) or on Facebook at and Twitter at hash tags #NatlPrep and #ReadyIA.

For more information on Preparedness Month sponsors, visit:


For Ready Wrigley Checklists click on the this link.

Backpack Emergency Card

Click on this link for a pdf to print out.



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20 Weeks to Preparedness

Develop An Emergency Kit-SAFEGUARD Iowa Partnership

This emergency supplies calendar is intended to help you prepare for emergencies before they happen. Using the calendar, you can assemble an emergency supplies kit in small steps over a five-month period. Check off items you gather each week. Remember to change and replace perishable supplies by the expiration date. Suggested food purchases would provide meals for approximately three to five days.

Click on the link below to print off a copy of the list.


For more information visit Safeguard Iowa on Facebook, Twitter, or at

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Alert Iowa Weather Update-Includes NWS Link to Show Towns Impacted

Inspiron Logistics has updated their weather alerts. When a weather alert is received on someone’s phone in addition to the usual text an URL link will now be embedded in the message. If the URL is clicked on, a web browser message will appear that will show the entire script from the National Weather Service. This will include the towns impacted and potential impacts of the storm. This will provide a lot more detail to residents. Rather than just receiving an alert that says their county is impacted and not knowing what the impacts might be or if their town is going to be hit. 

Now is the time for residents to sign up for emergency alerts if they have not done so previously. Please visit the Jasper County Emergency Management Agency’s website at and click on the Alert Iowa button in the top right hand corner of the homepage. You can also type in the link below to register.


Sign up for emergency alerts for Jasper County.
Messages can be issued via landline or wireless phone, text messaging, email, FAX, TDD/TTY, and social media.




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testlighteningThe Alert Iowa system provides city officials with the ability to provide pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire city. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for WENS/Alert Iowa Alerts to be sure they receive timely emergency notifications when alerts are issued. Sign up here
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