With severe weather conditions expected to return to the area overnight and this morning, Saline County officials reminded residents of existing alert systems across the county, even as the county was conducting a Tornado Relief Donation Drive to help Pulaski County residents.
Saline County will be collecting items 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Thursday, April 6, at the Courthouse Gazebo on the Main St. side of the Courthouse.
“We are such a giving community and are honored to be able to help our neighbors. By simply dropping off items, our citizens are making a true difference”, said Saline County Judge Matt Brumley.
Items to be collected include: ice chests, lip balm, sunscreen, work gloves, masks, protective glasses, hand sanitizer, soap and large trash bags.
These supplies will be distributed to volunteers assisting in debris removal and the overall cleanup process.
In Little Rock, an emergency relief fund has been started on the city website. The city is accepting donations of water and nonperishable food items at the Little Rock Fire Training Academy, 7000 Murray Drive from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those interested in helping with the cleanup can sign up at www.littlerock.gov/volunteer.
In North Little Rock, Levy Baptist Church at 3501 Pike Avenue is accepting donations.
First Assembly Church, at 4501 Burrow Drive in North Little Rock is asking for donations of supplies like work gloves, lawn bags and new tarps.
County Alert System
Saline County has one of the most advanced warning systems across the state of Arkansas, and we use a layered defense to help send warnings to our citizens. Our staff remains on duty during severe weather in order to provide timely warnings to those in the danger path”, said Brandon Guillot Saline County Office of Emergency Management Director.
In the instance a Tornado Warning is issued for any portion of Saline County, the County has the ability to inform and warn residents through mandatory messages from the National Weather Service, Everbridge, Tornado Sirens and Social Media Channels.
When the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a Tornado Warning, they use the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to send mandatory messages to phones located within that Warning area. These alerts are extremely useful in providing timely warning to take shelter, so we recommend that all residents keep their phones charged and nearby. Individual responsibility and preparedness are crucial to the electronic warning methods using your phones. You do not have to sign up in order to receive IPAWS messages from the NWS.
Saline County residents also have the opportunity to sign-up for emergency alerts through Everbridge. Residents have the ability to receive texts, emails, and/or phonecalls through the Everbridge system whenever a watch or warning is issued for Saline County. Residents can sign-up for alerts by going to salinecounty.org/emergency_management and clicking on the “Everbridge-Emergency Notifications Tab”. Residents must first create an account with Everbridge before receiving alerts.
In addition, Saline County has 45 Tornado Sirens across the county. These sirens are divided into six different warning activation zones throughout the county. When a Tornado Warning is issued from the National Weather Service, Saline County’s OEM (Office of Emergency Management) will ONLY activate sirens in the zone where the warning is located and zones in the path of the warning. Saline County does NOT activate all countywide sirens at the same time. Because of their limited reach, tornado sirens are primarily placed in areas of public gathering.
“Finally, Saline County residents are also encouraged to follow and check the County and OEM’s Social Media pages on Facebook and Twitter during a severe weather event. Residents can follow OEM on Facebook: @SalineCountyOEM and Saline County on Facebook: @SalineCounty and Twitter:@SalineCountyAR. The issuance and cancellation of watches and warnings will be communicated through these social media accounts.
“Staying up to date with the most current information during an emergency situation is of the utmost importance. Saline County is dedicated to providing this information to our citizens and we encourage our citizens to have a plan of action at home and work”, said Saline County Judge Matt Brumley.
If you are in the path of a Tornado Warning, the National Weather Service does not recommend traveling to another structure. Instead, shelter in place using the innermost room of your home away from exterior walls or windows.