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Yes, there are. A good place to start on getting you and your family prepared is the Ready Government website. You can also check out Teton County Emergency Management's page for a local perspective on disaster preparedness.
Briefly, some hazards that affect Teton County (in no particular order) are:
If you have any questions about these events, email Emergency Management.
You would contact Emergency Management. Let us know what type of talk you need and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Yes, there are. Teton County Emergency Management has a limited number of sandbags for local residents and businesses. They will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis when flooding potential is high (such as during National Weather Service-issued flood watches and warnings).
Residents and businesses that are at risk for flooding should contact Emergency Management at 307-733-9572 to request sandbags. Recipients of sandbags are responsible for obtaining their own sand and also for building their sandbag dikes. After the risk of flooding has subsided, usable sandbags are to be returned to Emergency Management for future distribution.
Yes, there are. The Army Corps of Engineers out of Walla Walla, WA created this document on sandbag filling (PDF), dike building, and dike maintenance.
No matter where you live, the answer is usually "yes". Flooding is generally not covered by homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, and the premiums are relatively low. Ask your insurance agent, or check the National Flood Insurance Program website for more information. You can also email Teton County Emergency Management and ask about literature on flooding and the National Flood Insurance Program.
If you have a federally insured mortgage, you will be required to purchase flood insurance. Ask your insurance agent, or check out the Flood Smart website for more information.
There is normally a 30 day waiting period from the time the first premium is paid to the effective date of the flood insurance. However, if your property was not in the Special Flood Hazard Area before the map revision, but it is in this area now, there is only a 1 day waiting period between the payment of the first premium to the effective date of insurance.
In order to qualify for this waiver you must purchase your flood insurance within 13 months of the effective revision date of the DFIRM maps. Check with your insurance agent for more information.
Many people are in this situation. Even those with satellite TV and satellite radio won't receive local emergency alert system (EAS) messages since they only broadcast national EAS activation from the President. So if you wanted to receive flash flood, tornado, hazardous materials, AMBER alerts, or other local warnings you wouldn't get them.
There are two solutions, however. You can purchase a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, which even if you have local TV and radio is the most efficient and direct way to get EAS messages. These radios cost between $15 and $50 and are available locally at several retailers. Learn more at the Emergency Management page.
Another option is to sign up for Nixle. This system allows us to broadcast emergency messages over email and SMS (cell phone text messages) to those that sign up and list their location as being in Teton County. You can enroll in this service online.
Yes, we do. Teton County currently has outdoor warning sirens at the following locations from north to south:
Sirens will be activated if an event is believed to pose an immediate threat to life and/or property for a significant portion of the population. Examples are tornadoes, severe thunderstorms during large planned outdoor events, and hazardous materials releases to name a few. Sirens will have a typical hi/lo wail that will last 3 minutes for an emergency. When you hear this you should tune to NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio or local TV/radio for information on the emergency situation and instructions on what you should do.
Remember, these are outdoor warning sirens, which means they are not designed to penetrate buildings. If you live close enough, you may hear the siren indoors, but they are intended to warn people who are outside that an emergency situation exists. Sirens will be audibly tested during county-wide disaster drills that typically occur every 2-3 years. When sirens are audibly tested, they will only be activated for 1 minute or less to help differentiate tests from a real emergency. Remember, 1 minute or less of siren tone is a test, more than 1 minute is a real emergency.
Yes. Teton County Emergency Management uses the new secure Nixle system to disperse these messages by SMS and email. All that you need to do is sign up for a Nixle account and be sure to list at least one of your locations as being within Teton County, WY. You can then manage your personal settings to receive text messages and/or emails based on the importance of the messages sent.
Yes, we are and we try to update at least daily. Our username is tetonwyo_em. We will post about daily events in our office so you can have a sense of what we do to help prepare Teton County for disasters. We will also use Twitter as one of the many outlets for emergency information in the event of a disaster.
But, just like radio, TV, and the internet in general, systems can go down or have technical difficulties. Do not depend on Twitter as your only source of emergency information, but rather as one of several redundant backups.
Teton County Emergency Management uses Nixle to send SMS and email notifications for public safety issues that are considered the jurisdiction of Teton County or the Town of Jackson. If you haven't received a message in a while, there's a good chance it is because nothing has happened in these jurisdictions to require notifications, which is a good thing! State Highway closures, such as Teton Pass, Snake River Canyon, Teton Village Road, and others, are not Teton County nor the Town of Jackson's jurisdiction, which is why you don't typically get Nixle notifications about these events. You'll only get State Highway notifications if Teton County and/or Town of Jackson first responders are "in charge" of the closure, which is a rare occurrence. Luckily, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has a great website, phone app, and SMS/email notification service for all of their highways, including the ones listed above. Visit www.wyoroad.info to learn more. To learn more about Emergency Management's policy on Nixle notifications, check out this document.
Although Teton County Emergency Management has an SMS/email notification service called Nixle used to notify the public of public safety issues, State Highways are not the jurisdiction of Teton County. State Highways include:
Our friends at the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) have a 24/7/365 staffed watch desk called the Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Cheyenne that monitors road conditions using remote sensing equipment, communicates with WYDOT personnel on the ground statewide to gather data, and when necessary, issues road closure alerts for State Highways. They utilize the following tools to notify the public of closures and road conditions. Commuters are strongly advised to have access to multiple tools to help them make safe driving decisions:
No matter how you like to receive State Highway information, WYDOT has a method that is sure to work for you.