FEMA continues to work closely with our federal and state partners to meet the needs of all those that have been impacted by the severe storms that moved through much of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. In Ohio, the President signed an emergency disaster declaration that has authorized FEMA to provide much needed resources to support state and local response and recovery, including generators to support critical infrastructure such as shelters, as well as positioning water in staging areas near the impacted areas. While those resources are critical, the state of Ohio and others of the emergency management team are taking the welfare of citizens very seriously. Here is one example:
Ohio’s “Knock and Talk” Outreach
On July 1, Ohio Governor John Kasich deployed more than 200 Soldiers and Airmen of the Ohio National Guard (ONG) to Franklin and Montgomery counties on a “Knock and Talk” mission. From single-story homes to 20-story high rises, team members are braving the heat and knocking on doors to chat with residents. They provide valuable information on available resources, such as cooling centers, that our local and state partners have made available. Ohioans are also coming together to check on their own, ensuring that everyone has water and knows how to stay cool during the power outages and heat wave.
Sgt. Jessica Cooper (left) and Pvt. Jason Geier, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 216th Engineer Battalion, talk with John Weese, 60, of Columbus, Ohio, on July 2, 2012. (Ohio National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Sadowski)
On July 2, the men and women of the ONG teamed up with student volunteers from The Ohio State University and continued the “Knock and Talk” mission to ensure that senior citizens, young children and those with sensitive conditions and medical needs are being served.
As we say at FEMA, it takes each member of the emergency management team coming together to ensure the safety of the American public. The ONG and the students of OSU exemplify the responsibility that each of us has to take care of our friends, neighbors, family and loved ones.
While we continue to assist Ohio, West Virginia and all the states that have been impacted by the recent storms, we want to urge you to exercise caution if extreme heat conditions are expected in your area in the coming days. Forecasts from the National Weather Service are calling for dangerous heat in parts of the U.S. for the remainder of the week, including the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit Ready.gov/heat to learn how you can keep yourself and your animals safe, or follow the example of Ohio Emergency Management and the Ohio National Guard.
Have your own “Knock and Talk” missions and check on a neighbor during this continued heat wave - make a call, send a text or better yet, walk next door to see that those around you have water, are staying cool and are able to stay in contact with loved ones.
Pvt. Jason Geier (left) and Sgt. Jessica Cooper, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 216th Engineer Battalion, talk with Gary Rowe, of Columbus, Ohio, on July 2, 2012. (Ohio National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Sadowski)
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our state and local partners for providing life-saving information and demonstrating care and compassion for their neighbors and fellow Ohioans. For the latest updates, please visit the Ohio Emergency Management website at http://ema.ohio.gov/.
Student volunteers from The Ohio State University assist the Ohio state Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio National Guard on July 3, 2012