Not only is the center up and running, but Emergency Operations Center director Dave Costin and Putnam County Emergency Management director Kim Hyten are continuing to add value to the center.
Earlier this year, the EOC team rolled out a new Emergency Notification System used to notify the public, county officials, law enforcement and emergency responders through a conventional phone line, e-mail or cell phone text messaging of important information such as weather alerts.
The system can also be used to notify a particular area of a missing child, fugitive, sexual predators, road closings, school closings and emergency declarations like tornadoes or floods.
Any message can be sent, including pre-planned ones. This system notifies 10,000 dial tone lines in 15 minutes and will do e-mail and text messaging instantly.
Earlier this summer the notification system got a try out in northern Putnam County as weather alerts went out about possible tornado activity in that area.
"Everything worked really well," said Costin. "We did learn that we don't have to wait until the weather hits the county line. We will send out messages as soon as we see problems. This will give people more time to get to safety."
Costin would like anyone who uses a cell phone or the Internet to add his or her text and e-mail addresses to the notification system. It doesn't cost the county anything to use the alert system for text and e-mail.
To add an e-mail address or mobile phone number for texting go to the co.putnam.in.us/911/ and click on "Emergency Notification System." The page will give instructions how to enter required information.
Dispatchers at the EOC are training on another new notification system for missing children, elders or college students.
Training for a new program called A Child is Missing (ACIM) Alert Program will get underway at the EOC next week.
"This is a rapid-response neighborhood alert program utilizing high-tech telephony systems. It works in tandem with the Amber Alert and the Silver Alert," said Costin.
ACIM can place 1,000 calls in 60 seconds, can process multiple cases simultaneously and can work without jurisdictional boundaries.
This program is provided at no cost to the county by ACIM.
Costin is also looking for a few Ham Radio operators to work with the EOC in case of emergencies.
"If the phone systems would go out in an emergency, we might need to rely on Ham operators to help out at fire departments, police and the EOC," he said.
There are about 60 Ham operators in Putnam County. Anyone interested in taking some training and working with the EOC should contact Costin at 653-5115.