Tag Archives: TEMA

TEMA apologizes for foulup in emergency test

Patrick Sheehan, head of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. apologized Thursday after emergency alerts were sent to mobile devices across the state during testing — and some were not labeled as tests.

Text of statement from TEAM Director Patrick Sheehan, emailed to media
“Today the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency conducted a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts to mobile devices. The purpose of the test was to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the system to address the public during times of emergency. The purpose of this system is essential to ensure we can communicate to save lives and protect property. We timed today’s test to coincide with the beginning of National Preparedness Month and it was designed to have limited impact on the public.

“TEMA spent the last several weeks working with our partners, EAS participants across the state , and the public to prepare for today’s test. Unfortunately, during today’s test we learned valuable lessons about the Emergency Alert System, our protocols, and areas to improve on the delivery of these types of alerts in the future.”

“We have received calls and messages from hundreds of Tennesseans letting us know about problems with receiving messages and the concerns caused by the messages received. In many instances the caveats that the message was part of a test were not received, making it seem like an emergency was imminent. While many are understanding, knowing that we need to test our systems, many have voiced their concerns about the angst this test cause. Please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience today’s test caused.

“In the coming days and weeks TEMA will be reevaluating our protocols and systems. We will not be conducting any public tests of the system in the foreseeable future.

We do these tests to make certain we know about problems before we need the systems. In this regard alone, this test has been very valuable.

Again, please accept my apologies on behalf of TEMA and my gratitude for your patience and understanding.

A TEMA report on TN thunderstorm damage (3 fatalities)

Here is a media advisory sent Saturday by the Tennessee Emergency Managment Agency:

July 9, 2016, 11 a.m., CDT
SEOC Activation: Level III – State of Emergency

CURRENT SITUATION

Severe storms overnight in Tennessee resulted in three (3) fatalities. In Carter County, a 60-year-old male and 40-year old female were killed when a tree fell on them while camping. In Knox County, a tree fell on a female of undetermined age during a severe storm. There are no other reports of fatalities in the State.

Tennessee remains in a State of Emergency, declared at 7:15 a.m., CDT, on July 7, 2016, due to continuing severe weather threats from wave-after-wave of heavy rain and high winds impacting the Middle and East Regions of the State.

FROM THE EAST
East Tennessee was the hardest hit area of the State from the severe storms last night. One storm caused damage through the northern section of the East Region, moving from Claiborne County to the tip of the State into Carter, Sullivan, and Washington counties. A second storm wave moved through the middle portion of the East Region hitting the Middle Plateau and Knox County, and moving through Blount, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Monroe, Roane, and Sevier counties. A number of East Region counties reported significant power outages, many downed trees, and closed roadways due to debris from the storms. TEMA deployed District Coordinators, last night and today, to help local emergency managers who are working to clear debris, conduct damage assessment, and assist residents.

IN THE MIDDLE
In Middle Tennessee, counties impacted from the first wave of storms on July 7, 2016, were hit again yesterday in two additional severe storm waves. A second round storm yesterday impacted Clay and Overton counties with TEMA deploying a District Coordinator to assist local emergency managers in the event. A third storm last night resulted the National Weather Service issuing multiple warnings, while up to 50,000 people were without power at one point during the overnight storm in Middle Tennessee. TEMA is also still assisting local emergency agencies in Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner counties from the July 7 severe weather.

TO THE WEST
West Tennessee counties report no issues from the severe weather. Many counties are continuing to monitor severe weather forecasts as there is a 60 percent chance of severe weather in the West Region today.

Flooding prompts emergency declaration for parts of TN, KY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials have declared a state of emergency in Tennessee after heavy rains caused flooding in several areas overnight and more rain is forecast.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said on Thursday that crews were performing swift-water rescues in Stewart County. He said several other counties have reported high water over roads and trees down from storms.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for areas of Middle Tennessee through Thursday afternoon. The weather service said as much as 6 inches of rain fell overnight, which led to widespread flooding in Nashville and surrounding areas.

Flener said travel could be precarious and warned that motorists should not try to cross water over roadways.

In Kentucky, heavy rains and harsh winds blew through the area Wednesday, knocking down power lines and damaging buildings in the far western part of the state, including Paducah. In nearby Metropolis, Illinois, the weather service said a small tornado hit and winds gusted up to 105 mph. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

Ohio official hired as new TEMA director

News release from governor’s office
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Patrick Sheehan as director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Sheehan, 40, is currently the operations administrator for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. He has led Ohio’s Emergency Operations Center and the Radiological and Preparedness Branches since 2014, successfully managing the state’s response to several declared emergencies including the 2014 Ebola event, a 2014 drinking water crisis in Toledo, a statewide propane shortage in 2014, and a 2012 statewide long-term power outage and heat wave impacting 33 Ohio counties.

“Patrick was the top candidate in a nationwide search for a director to lead the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. His experience coordinating the responses to several serious statewide emergencies in Ohio is impressive and he will use those skills to help Tennesseans during times of crisis,” Haslam said.
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Purkey leaving as head of TEMA

News release from the governor’s office
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Director David Purkey will return to the singular position of governor’s Homeland Security advisor and assistant commissioner of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) after serving in dual roles at TEMA and DSHS for the past two years.

“David has capably served Tennesseans in these two capacities for the past two years, guiding TEMA’s response to devastating storms and their lasting effects as well as Homeland Security’s collaborative effort with local and federal law enforcement in the wake of the Chattanooga attack last July,” Haslam said. “Both roles are intense 24 hour-a-day efforts. His focus on cooperation has been critical in these two areas. I look forward to him bringing his extensive experience and focus to Homeland Security.”

Purkey will continue in the both roles until the next director of TEMA is named. A nationwide search is currently underway.
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TEMA declares winter weather emergency

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan today, Jan. 21, 2016, and declared a Level III – State of Emergency, as of 3 p.m., CST, due to weather forecasts of a major winter weather system that will move into West Tennessee, late this evening and overnight, and gradually cross the entire State through Saturday. TEMA made the recommendation for a State of Emergency to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam this afternoon.

The second winter weather system of the year is bringing with it threats of freezing rain, sleet, snow and high winds, which may create blizzard-like conditions in some areas.

The possible, critical impacts from this weather system may lead to stranded motorists, power outages, and people needing shelter.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville will have key, TEMA staff and State Agency partners monitoring the situation, to include the Tennessee Departments of Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Additionally, TEMA has made contact with resources that may be needed with the potential for treacherous road conditions, including the American Red Cross, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Division of Forestry, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

TEMA’s regional offices in Jackson, Nashville and Knoxville are making staffing preparations for their Regional Coordination Centers (RCCs) that will include State Agency partners.

When activated the RCCs will be a point of contact to assist counties with any needs they report and to gather situational information for any response coordination. Each RCC is checking inventory of blankets, heater meals and water to fulfill any requests from counties or State Agencies for these resources.

The American Red Cross is currently putting shelter staff and volunteers on alert and is placing key shelter locations along Interstates on standby. Continue reading

TEMA storm report: 4 tornadoes, 6 dead

Here’s the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s Saturday afternoon report reviewing storm damage across the state from a wave of bad weather:

News release from TEMA
Heavy rain and storms over the past 24-hours has caused widespread flooding issues for a number of Tennessee counties, primarily in the eastern part of the state. The following is a summary of the current impacts of the flooding, to include an update on the severe storms and tornadoes of Dec. 23, 2015. This will be the only TEMA update today unless there are other significant developments.
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TEAM ends weather emergency; 4 fatalities from last winter storm

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
This is TEMA’s update to indicate the State Emergency Operations Center has stepped down to a Level IV-Elevated activation. This ends the State of Emergency in Tennessee, effective at 4 p.m., CST, on Friday, March 6, 2015. The information below includes a region-by-region update as well as a timeline of the progression of our activation levels since Feb. 16. This will be the last update on TEMA’s winter weather response. More updates will be provided as we move into the recovery phase from this emergency. –Dean

Flash Report – Winter’s Final March
March 6, 2015 – 4 p.m., CST
SEOC Activation: Level IV – Elevated

CURRENT SITUATION
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has downgraded its activation to a Level IV – Elevated status ending the State of Emergency in Tennessee.

There are no unmet needs reported in Tennessee from the recent winter storm and cold weather, and the SEOC has no outstanding requests for assistance from counties.

REGION-BY-REGION
West Region – No major issues, just a few wrecks. No reports of widespread power outages. No unmet needs. Regional Coordination Center will close at 4:30 p.m., CST.

Middle Region – Interstates clear but back roads still icy in areas. No reports of widespread power outages. No unmet needs. Regional Coordination Center closed 3/5/15.

East Region – Flooding threat has subsided in Claiborne County. Some roads closed in a few counites. No shelters open. No reports of widespread power outages. Regional Coordination Center will close at 5:30 p.m., EST.

SEOC ACTIVATION TIMELINE
Level III – State of Emergency at 9 p.m., CST, on Feb. 16, 2015
Level II – State of Emergency at 3 p.m., CST, on Feb. 21, 2015
Level III – State of Emergency at 2 p.m., CST, on March 3, 2015
Level IV – Elevated at 4 p.m., CST, on March 6, 2015

Here’s the TEAM report from earlier Friday:
CURRENT SITUATION
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at a Level III – State of Emergency and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan remains activated due to the previous severe winter storm.

Very cold temperatures are in place today across Tennessee, the last remnant of a winter weather system that brought freezing rain, sleet heavy snowfall and heavy rain to the state beginning on Mar. 4.

The SEOC has confirmed another fatality this morning of a confirmed of a 55-year-old-male from a motor vehicle accident this morning in Hamilton County.

Interstates in Tennessee are in good shape and moving. Patches of ice and sleet remain on Interstates and secondary roads, so motorists are still advised to use caution when travelling. TDOT is also keeping a message board in place on I-24 west bound warning motorists about the hazardous driving conditions in Kentucky.

The National Guard has five units still on standby in Obion, Cookeville, Dickson and Jackson to assist motorists and address other life safety needs.

The SEOC is also monitoring flooding potential from levee issues in Gibson County, and in Claiborne County on the Powell and Clinch rivers.

All shelters in Tennessee are closed. There are no widespread power outages. The SEOC is not receiving any reports of unmet needs in Tennessee.

FATALITIES
There are four (4) confirmed weather-related fatalities form this winter weather system:

• Campbell County: One (1) fatality: 61-year-old, male, motor vehicle accident on 3/5/15
• Dickson County: One (1) fatality: 46-year-old, male, motor vehicle accident on 3/5/15
• Hamilton County : One (1) fatality: 55-year-old, male, motor vehicle accident on 3/6/15
• Wilson County: One (1) fatality: 35-year-old, female, motor vehicle accident on 3/4/15

PRIORITIES:
• Address life safety needs
• Support local governments and resource requests
• Continue to assess and address roadway conditions
• Assist stranded motorists and conduct sheltering operations when needed
• Monitor changes to weather conditions
• Prepare for transition from response to recovery mode

State Agencies working at the SEOC, in the field or other locations on the storm response include: Commerce & Insurance, Environment & Conservation, Correction, Finance & Administration, General Services, Health, Human Services, National Guard, Tennessee Commission on Aging, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Volunteer Tennessee. Response support is also being provided from the American Red Cross, Civil Air Patrol, FEMA, National Weather Service, Salvation Army, Tennessee Valley Authority and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

TEMA’s Thursday afternoon update (three fatalities from latest winter storm)

CURRENT SITUATION
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at a Level III – State of Emergency and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan remains activated due to the previous severe winter storm.

The winter precipitation is moving out of Tennessee. Interstates are in good shape with traffic moving, though slowly in spots, due to ice and snow.

While Interstate traffic in Tennessee is flowing, heavy snowfall has caused traffic issues on both I-24 and I-65 in Kentucky. TDOT has placed a message board at Exit 8 on I-24 west bound in Tennessee warning motorist I-24 is closed a mile-marker 86 in Kentucky. TDOT is also announcing that driving conditions on I-24 and I-65 both in Kentucky are treacherous and motorists should be take notice.

The Tennessee National Guard is moving four units to Nashville to place on standby for wellness checks in case I-65 issues in Kentucky begin impacting Tennessee. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Tennessee Parks are also on standby to assist with any motorist wellness checks. Tennessee Highway Patrol is also flying reconnaissance missions over I-24 and I-65 to monitor traffic.

The temperatures are expected to stay below freezing through midday Friday. This will keep many roadways slick and hazardous for an extended period of time in West and Middle Tennessee.

FATALITIES
There are three (3) confirmed weather-related fatalities form this winter weather system:

• Campbell County: One (1) fatality, 61-year-old, male, motor vehicle accident on 3/5/15
• Dickson County: One (1) fatality, 46-year-old, male, motor vehicle accident on 3/5/15
• Wilson County: One (1) fatality, 35-year-old, female, motor vehicle accident on 3/4/15

POWER OUTAGE
S
There are no reports of widespread power outages, but localized outages are possible.

SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters on standby:
• Campbell Co – First Baptist Church
• Campbell Co – Lafollette Rec Center

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY UPDATES

The heaviest snow impact is in the northwest corner of Tennessee and in counties north of I-25 in the state. Some counties are also reporting flood impacts.

Campbell County – State Route297 in Campbell County is closed due to flooding.

Claiborne County – Local EMA reports Powell River at highest flow in five years at Jonesville, VA.

Gibson County – Local EMA monitoring three breaks in levees that could impact water treatment plant, the jail and three homes.

Hancock County – Flooding is reported on State Route 33 in Hancock County.

Montgomery County – Reporting six inches of snow in Clarksville, higher amounts near the Kentucky state line.

Obion County – Heavy snow has impacted travel in the county, especially for emergency medical services. One National Guard unit is assisting Baptist Hospital in Obion County to follow on ambulance runs to assist transporting ambulance crew if access issues.

Robertson County – Reports of 8 to 10 inches of snow with reports of wreckers clearing 18-wheelers stuck on hills.

Stewart County – Reports 12 inches of snow in the northwestern part of the county. The Stewart County Sheriff is using Humvees and heavy trucks to escort.

PRIORITIES
• Address life safety needs
• Support local governments
• Fulfill resource requests
• Monitor changing weather conditions
• Assess roadways and assist any stranded motorists

State Agencies working at the SEOC, in the field or other locations on the storm response include: Commerce & Insurance, Environment & Conservation, Correction, Finance & Administration, General Services, Health, Human Services, National Guard, Tennessee Commissioner on Aging, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Volunteer Tennessee. Response support is also being provided from the American Red Cross, Civil Air Patrol, FEMA, National Weather Service, Salvation Army, Tennessee Valley Authority and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

TEMA’s mission, www.tnema.org, is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.

TEMA’s Thursday weather emergency update

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency:

CURRENT SITUATION
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at a Level III – State of Emergency and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan remains activated due to the previous severe winter storm.

Snow and ice overnight and this morning have caused traffic issues in West and Middle Tennessee. Most significantly, the Kentucky State Police have closed I-24 at the state line due to 12 to 14 inches of snow. Montgomery County reports 18 inches of snow on the ground. In other Tennessee locations, there are reports of 3 to 5 inches of snow north of I-40, with 1 to 3 inches south.

The National Weather Service in Nashville also has issued a Flood Warning for The Harpeth River Near Kingston Springs. Heavy rain and flooding is reported in areas of the Cumberland Plateau and East Tennessee, too. State Route297 in Campbell County is closed due to flooding. Flooding is also reported on State Route 33 in Hancock County.

The temperatures are expected to stay below freezing through midday Friday. This will keep many roadways slick and hazardous for an extended period of time in West and Middle Tennessee.

FATALITIES

There is one (1) confirmed weather-related fatality form this system in Dickson County of a 46-year-old male due to an auto accident.

POWER OUTAGES
There are no reports of widespread power outages, but localized outages are possible.

SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters open with no occupants:
• Campbell Co – First Baptist Church
• Campbell Co – Lafollette Rec Center

RESPONSE ACTIONS
• Obion County has requested National Guard assistance with clearing roads for emergency response access.

• The SEOC is Nashville is fully-staffed and conducting calls with the Nashville Weather Service and TEMA’s regional offices for situational awareness and information on conditions.

• TEMA’s West, Middle and East Regional Offices are polling counties and responding to any requests for assistance.

• THP reports isolated incidents on Interstates with no major backups. THP in Nashville is working 14 weather-related events and eight crashes.

• TDOT is running snow plows and re-loading salt trucks.

• National Guard is keeping four units on standby until Friday in Cookeville, Dickson, Jackson and Murfreesboro to assist with wellness checks and other life-safety needs should they arise.

PRIORITIES
• Address life safety needs
• Support local governments
• Fulfill resource requests
• Monitor changing weather conditions
• Assess roadways and assist any stranded motorists

State Agencies working at the SEOC, in the field or other locations on the storm response include: Commerce & Insurance, Environment & Conservation, Correction, Finance & Administration, General Services, Health, Human Services, National Guard, Tennessee Commissioner on Aging, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Volunteer Tennessee. Response support is also being provided from the American Red Cross, Civil Air Patrol, FEMA, National Weather Service, Salvation Army, Tennessee Valley Authority and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

TEMA’s mission, www.tnema.org, is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders