MOUNT VERNON — When severe weather happens, emergency personnel go on high alert in order to be ready to act quickly and efficiently, and the Knox County Emergency Management Agency plays a major role in notification and planning.
Richard Dzik, interim director of Knox County EMA and 9-1-1 coordinator, said the EMA office largely serves as a resource and point of contact for emergency responders.
The agency monitors weather reports from the National Weather Service through NOAA Weather Radio, an “all hazards” radio network used to obtain comprehensive weather and emergency information.
When a severe weather warning is issued, the first task of EMA is to work with the 9-1-1 office to make sure the warnings go out, to ensure the sirens are activated to alert the public. Dzik said the county has 24 emergency sirens which can be activated from any dispatch center in the county. He urges citizens to pay attention to the sirens when they are activated.