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Weather alert codes changed

December 13, 2011

    Goodbye to green, yellow, red, and black.
    Hello to "advisory," "watch," and "warning."
    At Monday's meeting, the Adams County Commissioners adopted the new statewide system of announcing and handling bad weather or other types of emergencies.
    John August, the county's emergency management director, told the commissioners that a law passed in this year's session of the Indiana General Assembly established three levels to alert the public:
    — Advisory: "Routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas."
    — Watch: "Conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a watch, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations."
    — Warning: "Travel may be restricted to emergency workers only. During a warning, individuals are directed to refrain from all travel, comply with necessary emergency measures, cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans, and obey and comply with lawful directions of properly-identified officers."
    Finally, the 2011 state law says this:
    "If the emergency management agency director or the principal executive officer of a political subdivision determines that conditions within the political subdivision created the need for travel advisory restrictions without a local disaster emergency declaration, the emergency management agency director or the principal executive officer [of the political subdivision] may issue an 'advisory' or a 'watch' travel advisory."
    August made clear that, in Adams County, the emergency management director, the sheriff, and the highway superintendent discuss situations and advise the commissioners so the commissioners can make such decisions.

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