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PENS Bulletin September 2011
Information from your local police...
 
September is National Preparedness Month and although it is often difficult to stay mentally and physically prepared for seemingly infrequent events, recent severe weather in many parts of Georgia should serve as a reminder that we are not immune to disaster, whether natural or man-made. Fortunately there are steps you can take to prepare yourself that are applicable across a wide range of hazards.
 
FEMA has put together a Basic Emergency Preparedness guide at www.fema.gov/areyouready/basic_preparedness.shtm that provides information on Emergency Planning and Checklists, How to Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit, Hazard Specific Preparedness, and much more. This information serves as an overview and can be modified to suit your family’s particular needs.
 
As evidenced by the catastrophic damage and loss of life suffered in Catoosa County, Georgia in April, and the multimillion dollar property loss that took place in Cherokee County just last week, tornadoes are one of the most prevalent and dangerous natural hazards that we face in our region. Tornadoes occur quite suddenly and even with advances in technology, there is often little time to react making it ever necessary to plan ahead.
 
Understanding and heeding the warning systems is the first step to keeping you and your family safe. According to the National Weather Service, a Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. You should remain alert to the weather and monitor a NOAA Weather Radio, a commercial radio station, or the television for updates. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar and you should take shelter immediately.
 
If you are at home during a Tornado Warning, proceed to the basement or lowest level of your home and get into an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom, closet, or inner hallway. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture and protect your head and neck with a blanket if possible. Remain cognizant of the proximity of large trees in or near your yard when selecting a place to shelter.
 
If you are at work, school, or out running errands, you should go to the basement or an inside hallway on the lowest level of the building and avoid windows, doors, and exterior walls. A strong piece of furniture such as a table or desk can offer additional protection from falling debris.
 
If you are in a vehicle or mobile home, get out immediately and seek shelter using the guidelines above. If there is not enough time, lie flat in a ditch or depressed area and cover your head with your hands. Never get under an overpass or bridge; you are safer in a low, flat location. Remain alert for flying debris and the potential for flash flooding.
 
For an excellent kid’s guide to tornadoes and tornado preparedness that is sure to make an impression, visit www.fema.gov/kids/tornado.htm
 
I would also like to remind everyone who has not already done so to sign up for Nixle Alerts from Cobb County Government at www.Nixle.com. Cobb County is committed to using this system judiciously so that residents pay attention when they receive an alert. Nixle was used in late August to notify area residents that Johnson Ferry Road would be closed for a lengthy period of time due to a gas leak. Those who were signed up to receive the alert were able to reroute accordingly.
 
Crime Trends:
We experienced a rash of Entering Autos at area fitness centers, including LA Fitness on Roswell Road early this month. In almost every case, purses or valuables were left in plain site or in the floor board of vehicles, resulting in a smashed window and theft. To increase awareness, we partnered with LA Fitness to provide a safety bulletin notifying patrons of the trend and providing tips on ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.
 
A PENS Alert was sent out August 26 notifying residents of various acts of vandalism taking place inside the Highland Point Subdivision off Sandy Plains Road, mostly targeting mailboxes. For the most part, other types of crime appear to have slowed as of late. The majority of recent theft related cases indicated acquaintances and relatives as the likely suspect.
 
What you and your neighbors can do:
The thieves that target these venues are often from out of state and may utilize rental cars that have changed hands multiple times, making apprehension and prosecution very difficult. These thieves are very skilled and discreet and can smash a window and remove valuables in mere seconds. They target venues such as fitness centers because they know that people often leave their valuables in the car when working out and they target affluent areas where the yield is likely to be greater.
 
We encourage everyone to remove their valuables or anything that appears to contain valuables, such as book bags and brief cases, and place them in the trunk of their vehicle before arriving at their destination.
 
Recent Arrests in PCT IV:
The uniform division at Precinct IV continues to make numerous traffic and drug related arrests as well as arrests of wanted persons. While not every case is news worthy, it is important to remember that these arrests have an impact on the crime rate and most importantly help keep our roads safe.