In This Issue

Prepare Your Most Important Asset

Getting Ready for Spring

National Public Works Week

Letting Technology Work for You –
The Town of Greeneville

Working Together for a Safer Community

Tennessee Trivia

Q. The flag of Tennessee is a red field with a blue circle, with three white stars in the center of the circle. What do the three stars represent?

Click Here for the Answer

Message from the President

Dawn Happy spring to all!

As we roll into spring, we also enter the season of springtime weather events, such as tornadoes, hail, strong winds, rain and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service maintains constant watch on potential weather systems and provides regular reports on the conditions associated with these systems.

In the course of evaluating weather conditions, they use specific terms relative to the likelihood and severity of events. For example, a thunderstorm watch means severe weather is possible, and you should stay abreast of forecast updates and be prepared for potential severe weather. A thunderstorm warning means you should take immediate action as severe weather is imminent. Seek shelter immediately and stay tuned to forecast updates. Thunderstorms can bring damaging winds and hail. In fact, straight-line winds emerging from a thunderstorm can be as damaging as a tornado. It is important to pay attention to — and understand the difference between ― a thunderstorm watch and a warning. The difference between a watch and a warning also applies to tornado alerts.

In addition to local TV and radio stations and the Internet, you can stay up-to-date on weather notices through wireless emergency alerts and/or weather radios.

The information below details the various conditions and terminology used by the NOAA/National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:

A marginal-risk day indicates possible storms of only limited organization, longevity, coverage and/or intensity. Storms are typically isolated, with limited wind and hail damage, and a low tornado risk.

A slight-risk day typically indicates that a threat exists for short-lived severe weather, including scattered wind damage (produced by straight-line sustained winds and/or gusts of 60 to 70 mph), hail and/or isolated tornadoes.

An enhanced-risk day indicates that there is a greater threat for severe weather than that which would be indicated by a slight risk. Severe storms are expected to be more concentrated and widespread, and of varying intensities, with potential wind and hail damage, and a few possible tornadoes.

A moderate-risk day indicates that more widespread and/or more dangerous severe weather is possible. Numerous tornadoes, more widespread or severe wind damage, and/or very large, destructive hail could occur.

A high-risk day indicates a considerable likelihood of significant to extreme severe weather, with an expected major tornado outbreak or a straight-line wind event. On these days, the potential exists for dangerously severe and life-threatening weather, including widespread strong or violent tornadoes — some of which may be on the ground for a half-hour or longer ― and/or very destructive straight-line winds.

As we enjoy the beauty, warmth and sunshine that spring brings, let us all stay tuned — and stay safe.

Dawn R. Crawford

Prepare Your Most Important Asset

After a disaster, your employees will most likely be responding to their personal recovery efforts at home. And depending on their level of preparedness, they may be unwilling or unable to report for work — leaving your own recovery efforts at risk.

Thankfully, talking with your employees about personal preparedness doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here are a few topics to get you started:

  • Communication: Make sure your employees know how to communicate with you after a disaster. Consider implementing a phone tree.

  • Emergency Contact List: Cell phones can be damaged during a disaster. Have your employees fill out this emergency wallet card to ensure they have access to important personal contacts, no matter what.

  • Team Effort: Make certain your entire office is on board by offering team incentives for completing personal preparedness items, such as their emergency wallet card.

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Getting Ready for Spring

Here are several important steps your team can take to prepare for spring ― and the associated risk of significant weather events:

Have your offices inspected by a contractor.
In particular, check the roof, gutters and HVAC system for damage or clogging. Make necessary repairs, clean air ducts and replace filters.

Do an office spring cleaning.
Remove important documents from low-level storage and digitize them if possible. Do a building-wide clean-up and remove any unnecessary items. Ensure all windows are secure. Clear the parking lot and grounds of debris that may have been hidden under snow and/or ice.

Review your emergency management plan.
Ensure new personnel are familiar with your emergency plan. Review how to get to the nearest and all back-up exits, and be sure that all team leaders understand and are able to carry out their responsibilities.

Test your plan.
As part of your disaster plan “spring cleaning,” conduct a hypothetical drill where everyone carries out their assigned responsibilities. Then hold a post-drill meeting to discuss ideas for improvement.

Tune up your generator.
If you have a backup generator, have your maintenance department or mechanic perform a tune-up and test your generator to ensure it is in good working condition. If applicable, in a safe place away from your building, store enough gasoline to run the generator for two to three days.

Ramp up your emergency alert system.
Make sure you have the correct contact information for all staff, then test your emergency alert system via every method you utilize — i.e., audio, text message, email, social media and the web.

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National Public Works Week

Every year, National Public Works Week dedicates time toward educating the general public on the value and impact of public works in their daily lives ― from planning to building, managing and operating at the heart of their local communities to improve everyday quality of life.

Help us celebrate National Public Works Week May 15-21.

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Letting Technology Work for You – The Town of Greeneville

The town of Greeneville is utilizing a mobile tablet and application called Mobile 311 for sanitation trucks and public works crew leaders. The app is designed to allow sanitation drivers throughout the town report information back to town hall, including items such as brush and leaves that need to be picked up. The location and description of the material noted is sent to the solid waste drivers. The information can even be ordered for the most efficient pick-up route.

One feature that has especially helped the public works department enables the sanitation truck crews to note residences where garbage cans have not been left out for curbside pick-up. In Greeneville, as with many cities, it is not uncommon for town hall and public works to receive a call that the sanitation crew did not pick up garbage at a particular location. More often than not, this is generally because the container was not at the curb when the route was run. In such a case, a “Can Not Out” time-stamped notice is sent to the public works director and central office via the app. Now, when a call is received from John Q. Public at 10:15 a.m. complaining that garbage was not picked up, Director Brad Peters can tell the citizen he received notice that at 9:50 a.m., when the truck passed the residence, the can was not there.

The tablets can also be used to take pictures of certain conditions and send them to central office, helping to maintain records of reports of concern. If a picture is taken, a form appears on the tablet asking for a detailed report of condition. This helps the town maintain documentation of defective conditions and what steps have been taken to correct these matters.

Are you utilizing technology to provide more efficient services to your citizens? Tell us about it. We would love to spotlight the good work you are doing!

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Working Together for a Safer Community and Building Friendships

Guest Columnist: Chief Steve Isbell, Dyersburg Police Department

During a recent incident, a Dyersburg police officer and a very young witness crossed paths. Officer David Dodds was working a call, and while assessing and processing the scene, 7-year-old Shamino Lanier voluntarily stepped up and spoke with Officer Dodds about what he had witnessed. Officer Dodds and other officers were so impressed that Shamino came forward to do what all citizens should do, and they wanted to reward him. Officer Robert Beard assisted Officer Dodds, and they discovered that Shamino likes to play basketball and video games. The officers took it upon themselves to collect money from other officers to buy Shamino a new basketball goal, along with some gift cards for him to use as he wishes. Officers put the basketball goal together, and delivered it with the gift cards and a thank-you card to Shamino just as he got off the school bus at his home. Needless to say, Shamino was surprised and had a smile on his face that was contagious. Every officer there had a smile even bigger than Shamino’s.

There are many lessons here. First, I would like to point out that the courage it took for Shamino to step forward and do the right thing is an example for us all. This brave 7-year-old child wasn’t worried about what is being reported by most media outlets about the mistrust of police, or about others who encourage the public not to speak with police when you witness a crime, or helping police. Shamino did the right thing and he is to be commended for his actions. Law enforcement all across the nation encourages the public to: “If you see something, say something.”

Second, the compassion that all the officers showed was very heartwarming. The actions of Officers Dodds and Beard — and the many officers who contributed money, and took the time to deliver the gifts and spend some time with Shamino, were very rewarding.

The story heading pretty much sums it up. When we work together, we will have a safer community, and it fosters friendships. It is not us against them. The Dyersburg community is about us all working together for a safe community and building friendships. Shamino did his part, will you?

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Tennessee Trivia

Q. The flag of Tennessee is a red field with a blue circle, with three white stars in the center of the circle. What do the three stars represent?

A. The three distinct regions of Tennessee.