In an effort to educate Hoosiers on the deadly effects of thunderstorms and tornadoes, Governor Joe Kernan has named the week of March 14 Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Many Brazil residents experienced severe weather at its worst during last July's storms, which caused massive damage throughout the town. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed Brazil and Clay County for some of these damages, because of the county's disaster area status during the storms, and more money may be on the way in the future.
Emergency Management Director Gerri Husband said that the storms were definitely a learning experience for her and her office.
"We learned that communication, namely communication between emergency management services and Cinergy, could use some work," she said. "But we also learned that our emergency management service people were out in force. We have great volunteer and paid groups helping the city, and they were certainly there when we needed them."
FEMA has given a total of $204,501.98 to Brazil and Clay County since the storms hit, but more cash could be coming in the future. Husband said that two claims are still open and being considered by the government.
A press release from the National Weather Service said that more deaths occur due to flooding than any other storm-related hazard. As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, two test drills will be held on Wed., March 17. Each drill will consist of a test watch, followed by test warnings, broadcast by the NWS. The first drill will start around 2 p.m. The second will start a few hours later at 7 p.m.
Husband said that the courthouse will hold a drill, though she does not know if it will be on the 17th. Part of her job is to get various community organizations ready for actual emergencies.
"We're trying to reach out to the school corporation," she said, "to get them better-prepared. We've also been talking to various departments."
For more information, visit the NWS' "Turn Around, Don't Drown" official website at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/water/turnaround.htm....