August 2017 ENewsletter

Director’s Message: Shelby County withstands Harvey
Harvey, a Category 4 Hurricane, was described
as “nature at its worst and humanity at its
best.” As first responders performed life-saving
water rescues in Texas and Louisiana, Harvey
continued to churn further inland as Shelby
County braced for Harvey as a tropical
Dale Lane, Director of the Shelby County Office
of Preparedness (SCOP) activated the
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Level 4
on August 30 ahead of the severe storms
Harvey’s remnants would bring. The National
Weather Service predicted 6 or more inches of
rain, flash flooding, and wind gusts.
Proactive measures to mitigate flooding by
cleaning debris from storm drains was ongoing
by Public Works Departments.
SCOP pushed out severe thunderstorm and safety
messages reminding citizens to “turn around,
don’t drown” when faced with water on the
roads and to review their family flood plans.
A slight and marginal risk for severe storms
was predicted as well as a flash flood watch, a
wind advisory and a flood warning for the
Loosahatchie River near Arlington.
After a tornado watch and warning were issued
on August 31, Shelby County received over 4
inches of rain with 45 mph wind gusts.
The EOC received reports of flooded intersections,
trees and power lines brought down by wind and
rain, and traffic signal lights malfunctioning. At the
storm’s peak, 40,000 MLGW customers were
without power. One death was attributed
to the storm in a motor vehicle accident on I40.
“Shelby County was blessed,” said Director Lane
as Harvey left behind relatively minor damages
and disruptions.

Encouragement to Harvey Victims, Responders, and Volunteers
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Texas and Louisiana as they rebuild their community after Harvey. We send gratitude to the brave first responders, especially the members of our Tennessee Task Force 1, and the volunteers who responded to this disaster,” Dale Lane, Director Shelby County Office of Preparedness. Harvey’s recovery will be years in the making. FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Laura Vaughn, Director American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter, encourage citizens who wish to help flood victims to offer a monetary donation to a disaster relief organization, such as the American Red Cross. Text 90999 and type in HARVEY to donate or visit Caption: Houston flooding. Photo by Bloomberg
September is National Preparedness Month!
Every year we take the month of September to remind citizens about the importance of personal preparedness. 2017 is particularly meaningful because the catastrophic flooding in Texas and Louisiana. National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2017 focuses planning with the theme, “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can!” Encourage your family to take action now to prepare. Make a plan for every hazard and threat that may occur in Shelby County. Don’t forget the pets! Practice your plan annually.
The public is invited to participate in the annual PrepareAthon on Wednesday, September 20. The Shelby County Office of Preparedness will conduct a county-wide tornado drill at noon (weather permitting). As the outdoor warning sirens are activated, citizens are encouraged to go to their “safe place” on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and away from windows.
For more information on National Preparedness Month, please visit
Mass Casualty Exercise Volunteers Needed!
Volunteers from age 12 and up are needed to role play for a mass casualty exercise on October 11, 2017 from7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (rain or shine). Volunteers will act as “patients” experiencing illnesses or injuries. Groups of volunteers are welcome! The exercise will be held at Agricenter International, Entrance C at 7777 Walnut Grove, Memphis, TN 38120. Partners for this exercise include the Shelby County Health Department, the Tennessee Department of Health, Agricenter International, hospitals and medical facilities in Shelby, Lauderdale and Tipton counties in Tennessee and DeSoto County in Mississippi, and other local emergency management agencies.
To register, contact, call 901.508.7327, or visit

MidSouth Disaster Preparedness Symposium
Healthcare providers and the general public are invited to attend the “MidSouth Preparedness Symposium,” presented by the Tennessee Nurses Association, District 1. The target audience includes nurses, physicians, paramedics, EMT’s, administrators, and leaders. The event will be held on October 20, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN 38117. Lunch and snacks will be provided. The cost is $65.00. 7.25 CEU hours are available to nursing and EMS professionals.
The keynote speaker will be John Batty, author, “Voices of Angels: Disaster Lessons from Katrina Nurses.” Other speakers include: Alisa Haushaulter, DNP, Director Shelby County Health Department; Dale Lane, Director Shelby County Office of Preparedness; Sue McManus, Search Team Manager, TN Task Force 1; Kenneth Brown, Memphis OEM CERT Manager; John Benitez, M.D., Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness, Tennessee Department of Health; Tom Hassel, FBI Special Agent; and Gary Woodall, National Weather Service Meterologist.
To register, visit contact
Outreach: Nucor’s “Bridging Culture and Community Together”
On August 12, the Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP) participated in Nucor’s “Back to School” community outreach event at Mitchell High School. Nucor has chosen Mitchell as one of their adopted schools. SCOP offered FEMA literature bags, wallet cards, emergency phone number magnets, disaster coloring books, and earthquake posters for the families. Also attending were the Blues City Runners, American Cancer Society CATS, and Methodist Healthcare Sickle Center.
Captions: Left: Event organizer, Rashida Jones, visits the SCOP table. Right: Families pick up FEMA literature bags.
Outreach: Life Church of God in Christ Community Day
The Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP) participated in the Life Church of God in Christ “Community Day” on July 15 at 918 North Seventh Street. Every child attending received a new backpack and school supplies. The Shelby County Office of Preparedness offered coloring books, HELP/ OK signs, pencils, emergency phone number magnets and preparedness literature bags. Also attending were the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County Aging Commission.
Caption: Children show off their new back packs as they pick up disaster coloring books from the SCOP table.

Outreach: Great Middle Baptist Church Event
Over 200 citizens attended the annual Great Middle Baptist Community Health Fair and Family Fun Fest on August 19. William McKinley Jackson, Pastor, organized the event to assist families starting a new school year. The Shelby County Office of Preparedness visited with attendees to share information about preparedness. The event offered children free school supplies, health checks, and information about safety, education, and finances. Also attending were the Shelby County Health Department Pollution Control Section, Federal Express, University of Memphis Gambling Clinic, Memphis Area Legal Services, Donate Life Tennessee, and LeBonheur Developmental Services.
Caption: SCOP Reserve Daniel Allen handing out FEMA brochures at the Greater Middle Baptist Church event.
Outreach: Memphis Fire / Police Department Ambassador Picnic
The staff from the Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP) was honored to attend the City of Memphis Fire and Police Department Ambassador Picnic on Saturday August 19 at the Overton Park Pavilion. Attendees were invited to an informative presentation about how to prepare for disasters.
Caption: Ambassadors listen to the SCOP presentation. Photo by SCOP Preparedness Officer Terry Donald
Liberty Bowl New Bag Policy
The City of Memphis and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium leaders have implemented a new bag policy for all ticketed events effective August 31 in order to provide a safer environment and speedy entry into the stadium. The policy limits the size and type of bags that can be brought into the venue. Guests will be able to carry bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, that do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar); small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after inspection. Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage, non-approved seat cushions or seatbacks, computer bags, diaper bags, binocular cases, and camera bags. The new policy is in line with an existing NFL policy. For more information, visit

Mississippi River at Memphis
The Mississippi River at Memphis measured 9.81 feet on September 7, 2017 according to the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Minor flood stage is 34 feet. For the lastest river levels, visit
Captions: Left: Mississippi River at Memphis, Mud Island boat ramp, September 7. Right: NWS river graph September 7.
Significant Weather / Outages / Atlantic Hurricanes:  Atlantic Hurricanes: Hurricane Irma, a Category 5, described as the “strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic,” maintains 175-mph sustained winds after making landfall on Barbuda Wednesday. There are 10 reported deaths across the Caribbean Islands. Irma is predicted to bring “life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards" according to the National Hurricane Center. Florida is bracing for Irma this weekend. Citizens are told to “prepare to evacuate.”

 National Weather Service 7-Day Hazardous Weather Outlook: The probability for widespread hazardous weather is low.
Hurricane Rating Scale:
Hurricanes are rated by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a 1 to 5 rating, based on sustained wind speed. The scale estimates the potential property damage. A Category 3 or higher is a major hurricane for potential of significant loss of life and property damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are also very dangerous and require preventative measures.
Hurricane wind damage is dependent upon the duration of high winds, change of wind direction, and age of structures. It does not include storm surge, rain-induced floods, or tornadoes.
To view the YouTube video, “Understanding the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale,” please visit:

Tennessee Department of Transportation:
Shelby County is part of Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Region 4.
Tennessee travelers can call 511 or visit
to access travel conditions. TDOT’s SmartWay at
encourages motorists to view real time highway conditions, construction sites, and weather related incidents. To upload the SmartWay App, visit:
Caption: Right: TDOT road sign on I40 Memphis, Tennessee on Labor Day, September 4, 2017.
(Free) Preparedness Training!
Please visit to register for free preparedness training:
 September 16 and 23. Community Emergency Response Team. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit
 September 19, 2017. MGT 315 Critical Asset Risk Management. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. To register please visit:
 SKYWARN: MidSouth SKYWARN: visit:
Amateur “Ham” Radio:
 Ham Radio Check-In: SCOPERNET on Mondays, 6:00 p.m., 147.09 repeater, tone 107.2.
Emergency Operations Center Activation Status: September 7, 2017
 The Shelby County Office of Preparedness is at activation Level 5, Normal Operations.
 The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is at activation Level 5, Normal Operations.
Shelby County Office of Preparedness:
 Follow us on Twitter @SCOP_HLS_EMA
 Like us on Facebook!
 Join us! Reserves: Email
 Join us! Shelby Cares: Email
 Storm Shelter Registry: Email
 Active Shooter Awareness Training or Request a Speaker: Call 901.222.6700, email, or fill out “Request a Speaker” at
 CERT: Visit to register.