Fire department better prepared for severe weather

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In light of severe weather during the 2017 storm season, several agencies in Region 8 are taking extra precaution in preparing for possible emergency situations.

According to Steve Beck with the Jonesboro Fire Department, they have changed how they prepare for these situations over time.

"We learned a lot from the June 2014 hurricane force winds and the 2009 ice storms and also from the two tornadoes from the late 1960s and early 1970s.," said Beck. "We have learned a lot and we are trying to be ready."

Beck said their workers usually keep up with the daily preventive maintenance on their equipment.

"We always check on our generators," said Beck. "We make sure they have enough fuel and we also make sure all of our chainsaws are ready to go on each truck."

Beck also said they keep their safe room cleared out and ready to be used if severe weather were to strike the area. He said keeping the city safe is a collaborative effort with many local agencies.

"We work closely with the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management and City Water and Light in case we need to help chop trees up or something like that," said Beck. "We also work with the Jonesboro Street Department in case we need to clear roadways or even help save people from their homes."

Beck said they also work with the American Red Cross, which prepares the local shelters with cooking units, cots, and other items needed in a disaster situation.

Beck also added that even though they work with several departments to make sure everyone is on the same page in an emergency, people should be just as prepared for their families.

"Families should have a plan," said Beck. "They need to keep their families safe for at least 72 hours with food, water, and shelter. They also need to make sure they have weather radios as well."

Beck said even though they do not know how extreme the next weather event will be, they will always be ready in any and every situation.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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