DPS Dispatch

NC Emergency Management employees prepare North Carolinians for disasters in a variety of ways, but today we recognize one team that is essential in natural disasters. Today is National Weatherperson’s Day, so we are spotlighting three meteorologists who comprise the weather reporting team for the department. National Weatherperson’s Day honors individuals in the fields of meteorology, weather forecasting and broadcast meteorology to celebrate the birthday of John Jeffries, one of the first weather observers to take daily measurements.

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CAYTON - Hundreds of searchers from local, state and federal agencies along with public volunteers spent more than two days looking for three-year-old Casey Hathaway in Craven County before he was successfully located Thursday night.   The boy had been playing near his grandmother’s house when he wandered into the woods and did not return – spending two nights outdoors in freezing and rainy weather. Among those working the search were NC Emergency Management employees Alex Auten and Hendrix Valenzuela from the NCEM Eastern Branch Office.

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In 2018, between snow storms, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and more, North Carolina saw its fair share of disasters. These natural disasters not only took a physical toll on NC residents, but also created financial and emotional burdens. Though the impact of future storms and other disasters is impossible to predict today, there are steps everyone can take now to reduce the risk of property damage and loss of life. Start out 2019 with an emergency plan in place to make sure your family is ready when disaster strikes.  Make a Plan

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Homeowners who suffered minor damage from Hurricane Florence have until February 1 to sign a Right of Entry form to participate in the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified homeowners as potential candidates and notified them with texts, phone-calls, postcards and emails. 

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(CONCORD) Games are found throughout our daily lives. Some games are played simply for amusement and fun, while others are often played to pass on skills and lessons to the next generation. Games are also used to teach us about ourselves. Such is the case for Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center staff psychologist, Jerica McIntyre, who incorporated the creation and use of a board game into psychotherapy for one of the juveniles in her care.

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More than 1,000 North Carolina residents currently living in hotels after Hurricane Florence damaged their homes will soon have a faster way to return home.  The STEP program, a joint venture by the state of North Carolina and FEMA, will provide basic, partial repairs to make homes safe, sanitary and habitable, so residents can continue to shelter at home while they make additional repairs. 

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 ‘Tis the season for love, fellowship and coming together. It’s the time we tally our blessings and hope for more in the future. I write with a bit of reflection, a forecast and, as we live together in communities across the state, a call to mission – to find harmony with our neighbors and lift up those who may have been saddled with misfortune during this year of 2018.

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When disasters strike, whether natural or man-made, state/local governments and emergency managers need quick access to resources that allow them to manage a crisis and return things to normal. The declaration of a State of Emergency helps elected leaders achieve this mission. Though “State of Emergency” may sound ominous, the impact it has on citizens is anything but threatening. A State of Emergency, according to state law, can be declared during a situation or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property, resulting from a natural or man-made cause. 

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At the first hint of winter weather, Southerners are notorious for rushing to the store to stock up on bread and milk. Will it be a five loaves, two-gallon storm? Or more of a single-loaf, half-gallon flurry?    While we can laugh at our snow/milk obsession, we are serious about ensuring your family is ready for winter weather. And with the season’s first winter storm on the horizon, now is the time to review those emergency plans and update those supply kits that may have been depleted during recent months.     Emergency officials urge you to follow these safety tips:

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As part of prison reform efforts at DPS, the Office of Staff Development and Training has conducted situational awareness training for prisons’ personnel, including anyone who works in a prison environment such as Correction Enterprises’ employees. Situational awareness is described as a person’s state of knowledge or mental model of the situation around him or her, according to John Harrold and Theresa Jefferson’s “Shared Situational Awareness in Emergency Management Mitigation and Response.” 

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Help. Relieve. Aid.  Those are three words that long-term recovery groups (LTRG) live and work by.  A long-term recovery group is a cooperative body made up of representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families as they recover from disasters. Many LTRG participants are also members of North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NC VOAD).

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Whenever there are individuals or groups that need assistance, few rise to the occasion better than correctional officers. There are countless stories about their fundraising efforts to support Special Olympics of North Carolina, disaster victims or to show their love and concern during the holidays. They’re also quick to respond to helping each other during times of stress or need. Even during times where an officer doesn’t directly ask for assistance, word spreads throughout the facility and the other officers pool their resources to provide help.

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Maintain Your CyberSecurity Protocol During the Holidays         The holiday season is upon us, kicking off with the opportunity to overstuff ourselves on Thanksgiving dinner come Thursday. Many of us will eat enough to fuel a long winter’s nap as the visions of parades, football or holiday baking shows dance in our heads. It’s the time of year we spend with family and friends, kick off the shoes, loosen the belt and kick back a bit after a long year of hard work. Relaxing is good for the soul, however we need to stay on guard when it comes to cybersecurity.

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Working alongside 26,000 colleagues in North Carolina's largest state agency, it would be easy to conclude that good deeds and excellent work may go unnoticed. Yet today, the Department of Public Safety honored some of the department’s most committed and exceptional employees during its annual Badge of Excellence Awards Ceremony. Secretary Erik A. Hooks and other DPS leaders recognized 18 employees who have made outstanding contributions to the department’s mission of improving quality of life through enhanced public safety.

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