Emergency management reviews disaster prep - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Emergency management reviews disaster prep on anniversary of windstorm

By Brad Underwood – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) – Neighborhoods across the Tri-state were left in the dark, some for weeks, after the wind storm in September 2008. Winds courtesy of Hurricane Ike reached over 160 miles per hour in parts of the greater Cincinnati area. Two years later, the disaster planning collaborative has improvements in place to the current system that will help when the next disaster happens.

"Whenever there is a disaster there is always the unexpected that does happen," said Todd Portune. "We think that we are about as prepared in that respect as we can possibly be."

The county now has a reverse 911 system allowing police, EMA and fire to contact you.

The county siren system got a $2.3 million upgrade, installing new sirens which can be activated individually, unlike the previous system of all or none. That money is from Homeland Security Grants.

The collaborative is also targeting special needs groups creating 88 possible shelters in times of emergency.  

Various agencies have now come together under one umbrella to provide all the necessary and appropriate actions when a disaster strikes. However, resident action is also needed to make the plan work.

"We have to be individually prepared," said Portune.

A checklist is now available for residents. It contains personal numbers as well as agencies you'll need to have in case of an emergency. Along with the numbers, items like food, water, batteries, medications and other needs to keep you stocked up for a period of weeks.

"All the things you need to sustain yourself for a several week period of time in the event a disaster hits, because it might take that long before somebody can really get to you," said Portune.

There's also a service that you can sign up for to send you alerts before it's too late.

"You can upload your own cell phones, emails, and we are also including a new function, if you have a special need you will be able to chose the special need you have," said Cathy Lordo, of Hamilton County Development Disability Services.

To get all the information and print off your checklist go to



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