…Another Winter Storm may Impact Central Indiana this Weekend… 1/19/2019

…Another Winter Storm may Impact Central Indiana this Weekend…

A Winter storm may push out of the southern plains on Friday
night and push across Kentucky on Saturday. This may result in
another significant accumulating snow for Central Indiana on
Saturday and Saturday Night.
It remains too soon to determine specific snowfall amounts.
However…current forecast models suggest accumulating snow…that
could result in snow covered roads and surfaces and difficult
travel conditions.
There is still uncertainty in the forecast. The timing and the
path of the storm could change in later forecasts. People should
stay aware of the forecast and be prepared for the possibility of
more snow on Saturday.

Winter Health Safety Tips

Here are some important Winter Weather Health Safety Tips everyone should follow.

Shoveling Snow
Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be tasking on the body. There is a potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. During snow removal in addition to following the tips for avoiding cold stress, such as taking frequent breaks in warm areas, there are other precautions workers can take to avoid injuries. Workers should warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time and where possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. The use of proper lifting technique is necessary to avoid back and other injuries when shoveling snow: keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body.

Using Powered Equipment like Snow Blowers
It is important to make sure that powered equipment, such as snow blowers are properly grounded to protect workers from electric shocks or electrocutions. When performing maintenance or cleaning, make sure the equipment is properly guarded and is disconnected from power sources.

Snow blowers commonly cause lacerations or amputations when operators attempt to clear jams with the equipment turned on. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. First, turn the snow blower off and wait for all moving parts to stop, and then use a long stick to clear wet snow or debris from the machine. Keep your hands and feet away from moving parts. Refuel a snow blower prior to starting the machine; do not add fuel when the equipment is running or when the engine is hot.

Preventing Slips on Snow and Ice
To prevent slips, trips, and falls, employers should clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of injuries:

Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice is unavoidable, because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction, when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.

Stranded in a Vehicle
If you are stranded in a vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Call for emergency assistance if needed, response time may be slow in severe winter weather conditions. Notify your supervisor of your situation. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You may become disoriented and get lost in blowing and drifting snow. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the vehicle’s radio antenna and raising the hood. Turn on the vehicle’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour and run the heat to keep warm. Also, turn on the vehicle’s dome light when the vehicle is running as an additional signal. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Do minor exercises to maintain good blood circulation in your body. Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. Stay awake, you will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. Use blankets, newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation. Avoid overexertion since cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.

Madison County Highway Department Prepares for the First Winter Storm of 2019

A new tandem axle snow plow and a pick-up truck with a plow staged and ready to go if needed.

Madison County Highway Department is preparing for this first winter storm of 2019. The department led by Scott Harless, will have 15 new tandem plows and 4 pickup trucks out in the county keeping the roads plowed. Each township (13) has a tandem plow assigned to it, while 2 additional plows are available to assist as needed or escort emergency vehicles. The department utilizes pick-up trucks to plow smaller roads and areas not easily accessible by the large plows, such as neighborhoods.

Prior to the winter storm, Madison County has put down approximately 6,000 gallons of pretreat liquid brine on all blue line roads which will help enhance the melting process. The blue line roads are the primary county roads that are plowed first in each township in order to ensure emergency and other critical personnel are able to drive as necessary. Blue line roads for example would be 100W, 200E, 300E, 500N, 1000N, 500W, 200W, 200S and several others in the county. During the storm, the highway department has 32 employees that will work in shifts plowing while 4 personnel rotate in the maintenance garage working on equipment. “During a big snow event like the one forecasted this weekend, it takes the entire team at the Highway Department working together, 24 hours a day to maintain 890 miles of roads in rural Madison County” said Scott Harless. Scott would also like to remind citizens, these large trucks take up a lot of room on narrow county roads, please yield to the trucks and give them the right of way. Across the country, highway crews have adopted the saying, “Don’t Crowd the Plow” in an effort to educate drivers to give extra room to snow plows on all roads.

During the snowstorm this weekend, if you see some of our Madison County Highway crew-members taking a much-needed break, please take a moment to tell them thank you for the job they are doing. It takes a very highly skilled and experienced driver to keep a 70,000 lb. snow plow on the road in white out conditions, AND driving on snow packed slick and hazardous roads.

Thank you to all of our Madison County Highway Department employees!

Winter Weather Information

Important Winter Weather Web Links
10:00 AM Sunday 1/13/2019

Winds gusting 15-20 MPH and sustained winds 8-15 MPH in Madison County is causing drifting of snow on rural county roads. Madison County remains under a Travel Advisory on all rural unincorporated roads. The drifting is occurring primarily in the northern portion of the county, however in the south this is occurring as well.

Madison County on average received 8″ of snow during this winter storm. Madison County Highway Department has a full compliment of all trucks on the road plowing in each of the townships along with a compliment of pickup trucks plowing smaller county roads and neighborhoods. We are asking citizens to avoid unnecessary travel if possible so our plows can work quickly and safely on our rural roads.

7:00 PM 1/12/2019

3:00 PM Update 1/12/2019

Most areas around Madison County have measured 5″-5.5″ of snow. Snow continues to fall across the county heavily. We anticipate another 1-2″ of snow falling this afternoon / evening. As darkness begins to set in, driving will become more challenging on snow covered roadways. Madison County rural unincorporated roads still remain under a Travel Advisory.

EMA has only been requested at 2 accidents as of this point on Saturday. Law Enforcement has received several accidents and several slide offs today. We do not have an exact number of accidents at this time.

Remember EMA has posted several weather related links for our followers. Winter Weather Links

8:00 AM update Saturday 1/12/2019

Madison County has issued a TravelAdvisory for all unincorporated rural roads of MADISON County. A TRAVEL ADVISORY means routine travel may be restricted insome areas due to hazardous situations. Individuals should use caution and Please slow down when driving.

Snow fell during the early morning hours and has resulted in 1” of snow across most of MADISON County. The NWS is still predicting 5”-7” of snow for Madison County with the heaviest snow expected after 2:00 PM.

1/11/2019 9:00 PM Update

The NWS Indianapolis is still holding their forecast for 4″-7″ of snow with some isolated areas seeing 7″+ Saturday into Sunday morning. Madison County is under a Winter Storm Warning until Sunday 7:00 AM. At 8:00 PM, Indiana State Police Evansville were reporting ice covered roads and snow starting to stick as this storm makes its way NE. We anticipate snow arriving in Madison County after 3:00 AM. The heaviest of snow will fall between 2:00PM – 9:00 PM on Saturday. This is forecast to be a heavy wet snow which is good because winds on Saturday should be around 10 MPH increasing to 15-20MPH on Sunday. The heavier snow will limit a majority of drifting caused by the increased winds on Sunday.

Here is some important information about your health during winter weather. Winter Weather Health Risks

Be sure to check back tomorrow morning and throughout the day Saturday and Sunday for updates.

National Weather Service Indianapolis IN
312 AM EST Fri Jan 11 2019

…Winter Storm Warning in effect late tonight through Sunday


* WHAT…Total snow accumulations of 5 to 7 inches expected with
minimal ice accumulations of a light glaze possible.

* WHERE…Portions of central, south central, southeast,
southwest and west central Indiana.

* WHEN…From midnight tonight to 7 AM EST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult.

* TIMING…Late Friday night through early Sunday morning.

* MAIN IMPACT…Potential exists for 5 to 7 inches of snow
accumulation, with locally higher amounts possible. This will
create hazardous travel conditions.

* OTHER IMPACTS…Potential for low visibilities in heavy snow


A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet
and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

If traveling on Saturday…be prepared for very hazardous or
impossible conditions. Consider staying off the roads and
postponing travel to a better weather day.

The latest road conditions for Indiana can be obtained by
calling 1 800 2 6 1 7 6 2 3

Here is a link to read more about the Madison County Highway Department.


Thursday 4:30 PM Update

Madison County is just outside the Winter Storm Watch box which stops to our south in Hancock County. This storm system is still growing and changing by the hour. NWS and EMA encourage citizens to prepare for a winter storm which could bring 2″-4″ of snow Saturday and into Sunday morning for Madison County. Just south in Hancock County, they are in the 4″-6″ forecast zone. Never the less, citizens should prepare now for winter weather this weekend.

Thursday 12:00 PM update

The NWS-Indianapolis is now predicting 4-6″ of snow for Madison County and central Indiana. NWS is being cautious as the storm track is continuing to change paths. The temperature is playing a key factor in this storm system as warmer temperatures will translate to more rain in the south. It is important for citizens to continue monitoring this developing winter weather system. If you are making plans to travel this weekend, plan your trip in advance. Here are some helpful tips to preparing for winter travel:

Charge your cellular phone
Cellular phone power cord
Pack extra blankets
Pack extra clothes so you can layer up if you become stranded
Nutritional foods (snack bars, peanut butter, high protein foods)
Water bottles
Extra medication
Jumper Cables
Small Shovel
Let family or friends no your travel route and estimated travel times.
As you progress during the trip, provide family or friends with updated locations.

Thursday morning 7:00AM update

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Indianapolis IN
224 PM EST Wed Jan 9 2019

…Accumulating Snow Likely Late Friday night into Saturday…

A strong storm system is expected to push into the region on late
Friday night and Saturday…bringing accumulating snow fall to
Central Indiana. Snow accumulations up to 4 inches will be
possible by Saturday Night. This may result in snow covered roads
as well as difficult driving conditions. Winter Weather advisories
might be issued.

This is still a developing situation. Snow amounts may change in
later forecast updates due to changes with the strength and
possible path of the storm system.

Central Indiana residents should pay attention to later forecasts
and possible advisories…and be prepared for accumulating snow on
Late Friday Night and on Saturday.

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work or play. The Madison County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is charged with the responsibility to ensure the community is prepared for a release of hazardous materials. Many communities have Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) whose responsibilities include collecting information about hazardous materials in the community and planning made available to the public upon request. Contact your local emergency management office for more information on LEPCs. The LEPC each year reviews the county’s hazardous materials plan and conducts training and exercises for first responders to be better prepared when these types on incidents occur. In addition to our first responders being prepared, our citizens need to be prepared as well.

Before a Hazardous Materials Incident

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a hazardous materials incident:

Build an Emergency Supply Kit with the addition of plastic sheeting and duct tape
Make a Family Emergency Plan
Know how to operate your home’s ventilation system
Identify an above-ground shelter room with as few openings as possible.
During a Hazardous Materials Incident
Listen to local radio, television stations or watch official social media accounts for detailed information and follow instructions carefully. Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless.

Preparedness Saves Lives

Flood Advisory Issued until 10:15PM

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a

* Flood Advisory for… Madison County in central Indiana… Hancock County in central Indiana… Randolph County in east central Indiana… Delaware County in east central Indiana… Henry County in east central Indiana…

* Until 1015 PM EST.

* At 515 PM EST, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain that will cause minor flooding in the advisory area. One to two inches of rain have fallen.



Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you can do so safely.

New Years Eve Preparedness

As you begin making plans for NYE celebrations at home, Indianapolis, out of state, or else where; we remind you of these simple safety items to keep everyone safe during the celebration.

1. Know where your nearest exits are at all times.
2. Have a predesignated meeting spot, in case you get separated from your group.
3. Have cell phone numbers, for everyone in your group. It may be best to text if cellular lines become overloaded.
4. Stay Alert, Stay Sober and be ready to react in the event something bad occurs.

There are no specific threats known to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies, but we always remind our followers to #BePrepared. Large gatherings are always a threat in today’s world. Law Enforcement officers around the world will be working overtime to protect party goers, however each person has a responsibility for self protection by being prepared. Another important aspect of keeping the public safe is the #IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething campaign. If you see something that appears to be suspicious or does not seem to be right, notify law enforcement so they can investigate. It is always better to error on the side of caution than not report something and it result in tragedy.

As we go into 2019, remember safety is your number 1 goal for yourself and your family. It’s always better to #BePrepared in advance.

From all of us at Madison County Emergency Management & Office of Homeland Security, Happy New Years.

Why is EMA Closing MY Road?

It’s 5:30 PM on Friday night and you are heading home from work ready to start the weekend with your family and relax on the couch watching TV. As you approach your final turn down your street, there it is, an EMA car has the road blocked with a sign that says “Road Closed”. This scene is common around Madison County as members of the Field Support Team for EMA direct traffic to support local law enforcement, and fire agencies when called upon. The road may be closed due to an accident, fire, SWAT situation, utility wires down on the road or many other reasons, but the one thing you know for sure, the road is closed for your safety. As you approach an emergency vehicle blocking the road, you should slow your speed, be alert to traffic and watch for emergency crews directing traffic. Often times, EMA personnel are out directing traffic helping motorists choose the best, safest and most direct route to detour around the incident.

In 2017, EMA Field Support Team volunteers logged over 6,000 hours (so far for 2018, EMA volunteers have logged over 7,500 hours) mostly directing traffic to support police and fire departments around Madison County. You may see our vehicles on state highways, the interstate, on county roads as well as in the city. EMA responds into the City of Anderson, Elwood, or any other community in Madison County when called upon. Currently EMA Field Support Team consists of approximately 20 members who are available at different times during the day and week. Many of our volunteers have full-time jobs, families and other commitments they must work around. Just like a volunteer firefighter, when the pager goes off, our volunteers jump into action leaving their families at dinner, church, or other gatherings.

The Field Support Team has 7 fully marked state certified emergency vehicles in their fleet. The rest of our volunteers drive their personal vehicles to the scene to close the road and provide traffic control. These 7 fully marked EMA vehicles are certified by the Indiana Department of Transportation as “Emergency Response Vehicles”. This is important to our agency because Indiana State law requires motorists to yield to an emergency vehicle when it is approaching with its emergency lights and audible siren activated. When an EMA vehicle is running “signal 10”, with its lights and siren activated, you are required by law to move to the right and yield the right of way to these vehicles, just like a police car, firetruck or an ambulance. The law also states, if an emergency vehicle is parked blocking a road, the approaching vehicle must slow down to a speed of 10 miles per hours UNDER the posted speed limit and follow any posted traffic control signs. Periodically our volunteers deal with motorists who swerve around road closed signs and our emergency vehicles thinking they can get through the scene. Violation of these laws can result in the motorist being issued a traffic citation and being summonsed to court by law enforcement.

The Field Support Team division has grown over the years to provide traffic and crowd control as well as setting up landing zones for medical helicopters landing on the scene of accidents. The members of the Field Support Team have monthly meetings, as well as train monthly to provide a professional level of service we have grown accustomed to. “We train regularly to ensure our members are safe and can handle nearly any type of scenario they are presented with”, said Tom Ecker, Executive Director of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency. In total, EMA has nearly 100 volunteers trained in several different specializations to support emergency services during times of large emergencies, and disasters which may impact Madison County, IN. To learn more about EMA and our volunteers, check out the Madison Co EMA website.

Gas Stoves Should Never be used as a Heater

The Dangers of Heating Your Home With An Oven

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning. If you have a gas oven, you’re putting yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you try to use the oven for heat. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, so you won’t be able to tell if it’s seeping into your home. Moderate levels of the gas can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fainting (it is sometimes mistaken for the flu). High levels can be fatal. When you use your appliances correctly, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning, but using a gas oven as a heater is not the proper way to employ the appliance.

Unattended High Heat. Leaving an oven, which can create an abundance of heat, alone while active is very dangerous. If you have children or pets, they could be seriously burned through accidental contact with the oven. There is also a chance that something might fall into the oven or onto the stove (like a napkin or cloth) and create a fire.