Police, fire, highway and other emergency and public safety officials from throughout the county met at the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center to discuss the plans of the individual agencies as well as how they will cooperate if the ice storm hits.
"Based on information I've received from the state EOC, this county could receive, mostly tomorrow, up to 2 inches of ice and winds picking up to 40 mph," emergency management director Kim Hyten said.
Hyten emphasized that an emergency of this nature would spread the county's resources pretty thin, leaving county safety and highway officials to perform only essential tasks. This means the first focus would be on larger population areas and emergency structures such as Putnam County Hospital and nursing homes.
All affected county agencies, Greencastle city agencies and DePauw Public Safety are planning longer shifts and extra staff, if possible.
Based on reports from the sheriff's department and the county highway, the Putnam County Commissioners will be prepared to declare a travel emergency. There are four levels of travel emergency in Putnam County.
* A level one emergency that restricts travel to emergency personnel only.
* A level two warning when conditions threaten public safety. Only essential traffic is recommended, such as to and from work and for emergency situations. Businesses, schools, government agencies and other organizations should implement their emergency action plans to determine if travel is required.
* A level three watch when routine travel or activities may be restricted in an area because of a hazardous situation. The public should use caution or avoid these areas. Schools and businesses may implement their emergency action plans.
* A level four caution to be issued when a condition may develop that limits or hinders travel or activities in isolated areas. No travel restrictions are reported but citizens should be alert to changing conditions.
People wanting information about travel declarations are asked to call 655-2048 and then dial *2. Citizens should not call emergency dispatch for the information, as dispatchers need to concentrate on emergency situations.
Most of all, all county and municipal officials encourage the public to remain patient and calm in an emergency situation.
"I hope and pray that we don't get an inch of ice," Hyten said. "At the same time, we've gotten our heads together on what we will do if there's an inch of ice."