Notice

I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.

Photoblog

Photos from my photoblog.

Nothing is here yet

I haven't decided what to put here yet, so look at this pretty photo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NC General Assembly Legislative Calendar
Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The NC Legislative Building



The state legislature [link] will convene today, the NC Senate [link] at 9:15 am and the NC House [link] at 10:00 am.

I have posted the calendar of scheduled legislative activity along with links to where you can listen online to our state legislators as they go about their tasks. The calendar link in the Senate and House section lead to a list of bills that are on the calendar to be considered today. The PDF file includes links to the bill page. On that page is a history of actions on the bill, and the bill text, as well as past versions of the bill.


If I have time, I'll listen and record the audio from some of the meetings.






Tuesday, April 26, 2016
9:15 AM Session Convenes (Senate) [CALENDAR] SENATE [LIVE AUDIO]
10:00 AM Session Convenes (House) [CALENDAR] HOUSE [LIVE AUDIO]
1:00 PM Finance (Senate) [MEMBERS] [WEBSITE]544 LOB [LIVE AUDIO]
1:00 PM Press Conference -- Rep. Grier Martin  PRESS ROOM [LIVE AUDIO]
3:00 PM Select Committee on Nominations (SENATE) [MEMBERS]
Agenda: To consider following nominees: Linda Combs, Controller; Lyons Gray, Utilities Commission; Chris Loutit, Industrial Commission; Anne Faircloth, Faylene Whitaker and James Lambeth, Board of Agriculture.
1027/1128 LB [NO AUDIO]









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Monday, April 25, 2016

Two Minor Quakes Shake Near WNC Today


Two minor earthquakes have struck with a 60 mile radius of Franklin, NC. The one to the west of us was a 2.6 and the one to the east of us was a 2.5. Quakes of this magnitude range usually strike within this area at least 12 to 20 times a year.

Please follow the links to the event pages for more information:

Buncombe County, NC Quake

Monroe County, TN Quake

Letter to the Editor
No Negative Connotation in Resignation of Mayor from Board

Letter to the Editor



Letter to the editor in response to the Macon County News & Shopping Guide article Thursday, April 21, 2016 “Mayor resigns from ATCC board”:

No negative connotation in Resignation.

As a founding member of the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council I offer for readers the following information: Facts:

1. Franklin Mayor Bob Scott was one of four people that promoted Franklin to seek designation as an Appalachian Trail Community.
2. The Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council (by its by-laws) has two representatives from the Town of Franklin an alderman and a town employee.
3. Since the Council’s formation in 2009, until elected mayor, Bob Scott served as the town alderman representative.
4. When elected mayor Pattie Able replaced Bob Scott as the alderman representative.
5. Mayor Scott remained on the Council until his recent resignation (by its by-laws the council has a flexible membership from 11-15).

In my opinion: 


1. Mayor Scott left the Council in strong hands.
2. His love of Macon County’s surrounding natural beauty and his support to Franklin as a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts is unquestionable.
3. At this time, his leadership, managerial ability and political capital need to focus on other issues facing Franklin.
4. Franklin’s position as an A.T. Community is secure in no small part to his early vision and eight years on the Council.

Bill Van Horn




**note** Letters to the Editor may be sent to editor@maconmedia.com

If you have a photograph or video you wish to be used, please make sure you have taken the photo yourself. If the video is posted online and you wish it to be included, please either link to the video or include video embed codes. IF a video is posted on a video sharing site, you do not have to be the one who shot the video for it to be included.

Limit of one letter per person per week. Profanities and vulgar language will cause the letter to not be accepted for publication.

NC General Assembly Legislative Calendar
Monday, April 25, 2016

**1:15 pm** Members of the Democratic Caucus are holding a press conference in the State Legislature addressing their concerns with HB 2 that was passed during the second special session of the NC General Assembly.

Macon Media published coverage of HB2.



The North Carolina Legislative Building





The state legislature [link] will reconvene today at 7 pm when the NC Senate [link] and the NC House [link] are scheduled to begin the short session. This session generally lasts for a few weeks and usually involves local bills and tweaks to the biennial state budget that was passed during the long session. 

I have posted the calendar of scheduled legislative activity along with links to where you can listen online to our state legislators as they go about their tasks. Also included below the calendar are images of the calendars from the NC House and NC Senate calendars with deadlines for filing bills and limitations on what types of bills may be filed this session.



I plan on listening and recording what I can, so be sure to check back later today and see what audio I've managed to upload. I will be unable to listen to the 7 pm sessions because I will be recording and streaming live video from a meeting of the local school board.


Since Voter Radio has gone silent, I am pursuing options for recording and archiving audio from the sessions and committee meetings of the state legislature myself.




Monday, April 25, 2016
3:00 PM Legislative Research Commission [MEMBERS] [WEBSITE] 1027/1128 LB [NO AUDIO]
4: 00 PM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government (House) [MEMBERS] [WEBSITE] 544 LOB [LIVE AUDIO]



7:00 PM Session Convenes (House)  HOUSE [LIVE AUDIO]
7:00 PM Session Convenes (Senate) SENATE [LIVE AUDIO]










NC HOUSE BILL INFORMATION


House Bill Information


NC SENATE BILL INFORATION



Senate Bill Information



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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Macon County Weather Briefing
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Forecast Map 
Courtesy of the NOAA Weather Prediction Center





OVERVIEW

A cold front will push through the region this morning from the north (this is called a backdoor cold front) causing the highs to moderate. Another cold front is expected to arrive from the west, increasing rain chances on Thursday and Friday, possibly lasting into Saturday afternoon. Another area of high pressure should settle in the region for a spell, allowing things to dry out again next week.



TODAY

Partly sunny with highs near the mid 70s and variable light winds early shifting to come from the south 5 to 10 mpg by mid morning,



HAZARDS

No Hazardous Weather Expected.

Relative Humidity values will not be dipping be below 30% today. Conditions are still dry, so please exercise some common sense if you plan on burning outdoors today. Rain should be arriving on Thursday or Friday, so consider putting off outdoor burning until then.

You can contact the county ranger at 828-369-8677 or by email at bobby.mashburn@ncagr.gov before burning outdoors today.



Current Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Macon County can be viewed at any time at
http://is.gd/MACONWARN




The pollen level today will be high (10.4 out of 12.0) with Oak, Sweetgum and Poplar being the main producers of pollen. The pollen levels are expected to

decline slightly through Saturday day with pollen levels being between 8.4 and 10.4 on a scale of 0 to 12. Pollen levels are expected to increase again on Sunday.


TONIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near 50 and winds from the southeast calming before midnight.


THURSDAY

Mostly cloudy with highs near 70 and winds out of the south 5 to 10 mph. 30% chance of rain, mainly after 3 pm with less than a tenth of an inch expected.


THURSDAY NIGHT

Cloudy with lows near the mid 50s and winds out of the south 5 to 10 mph. 50% chance of rain with less than a tenth of an inch expected.


FRIDAY and FRIDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with highs near the upper 60s and lows near 50. Winds from the southwest, shifting to come from the north east around 7 pm or so. Rainfall likely and thunderstorms possible with rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch expected, more in locations that see thunderstorms.
Rainfall is expected to be mostly over by 7 pm, but there is a slight chance that scattered showers and drizzle could linger into Saturday afternoon.



WEATHER ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS

• None in effect as of 3 am on April 20, 2016.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you have an event announcement, or wish to inquire about a day sponsorship, email the information to editor@maconmedia.com.

An advertising fee will be required for events that either charge admission or charge for vendor participation.




MACON COUNTY WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 20TH

Highest Temperature • 87°F at the Coweeta Experimental Lab in 2002
Lowest Temperature • 17°F in Franklin in 1983
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 3.096 inches in Highlands in 1893
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 1.5 inches in Highlands in 1901


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN MACON COUNTY
(1872-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 91°F in Franklin on April 26, 1986
Lowest Temperature -- 13°F in Highlands on April 1, 1987
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 9.5 inches in Franklin on April 4, 1987


NORTH CAROLINA WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 20TH

Highest Temperature • 98°F in Aberdeen, Moore County in 1896
Lowest Temperature • 9°F in Montreat, Yancey County in 1953
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 5.65 inches in Lumberton, Robeson County in 1918
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 18.0 inches in Waynesville, Haywood County in 1901 (what?)


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
(1870-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 102°F in Carthage, Moore County on April 29, 1981
Lowest Temperature -- 0°F in Shelby, Cleveland County on April 29, 1927
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 19.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County on April 11, 2003


CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month.

If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at >> https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia

Monday, April 18, 2016

Macon Commissioners Approve Relay Race Route During Special Meeting

Commissioners Boardroom





The Macon County Commissioners held a special meeting this afternoon to approve the running of the Smoky Mountain Relay Race through Macon County.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the route. Commissioner Tate was absent.

A copy of the approval letter is below:



Sourwood Running, LLC
Attention: James C. Brendle, Registered Agent
2812 Old Stage Road
Central Point, OR 97502

Dear Jim:

It is Macon County’s understanding that Sourwood Running, LLC, has made request of the North Carolina Department of Transportation for permission for it to run a portion of its “Smoky Mountain Relay” running event which is scheduled to occur on April 22 and 23, 2016, through Macon County, North Carolina. Macon County is pleased that Sourwood Running, LLC, has chosen to make this request and that it has included Macon County within the “Smoky Mountain Relay” running course. As you know, Macon County is a beautiful county and our County welcomes Sourwood Running, LLC, the “Smoky Mountain Relay”, the runners and those associated with this great running event to come and enjoy Macon County during the “Smoky Mountain Relay” upon Sourwood Running, LLC, receiving all requisite approvals from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Thank you for providing the maps and description of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” course so that Macon County is able to see where the “Smoky Mountain Relay” course will be located in Macon County, NC.

We understand that as part of the permission request process with the North Carolina Department of Transportation that you need certain acknowledgments and approvals from Macon County as follows:

A. Written acknowledgment and approval of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” by Macon County given that a portion of this relay race will be situate in Macon County; and

B. Written acknowledgment and approval that the “Smoky Mountain Relay” and in particular that portion of the same which is to be situate in Macon County is supported by the Macon County Board of Commissioners.

Please accept this letter as acknowledgment and approval by Macon County and the Macon County Board of Commissioners of Sourwood Runners, LLC, an Oregon, LLC, conducting on April 22 and 23, 2016, that portion of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” which is to be situate in Macon County, North Carolina, subject to Sourwood Running, LLC receiving all requisite approvals from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Again, welcome to Macon County.

Sincerely,


Derek Roland
Macon County Manager

Cook to Release Second Novel


PRESS RELEASE

Franklin, NC—Tyler Cook, Franklin native and Western Carolina University alumnus, will release his second novel, ‘Aluria’, at a special release party on May 7 at 11 a.m. at the Macon County Public Library. 

“Aluria is by far my favorite book I’ve written to date,” said Cook.  “I brought out my best creativity, and I think the readers will agree.”
In order to save his teenage crush, Jason Conner allows an extra-terrestrial spirit, named Aluria, to inhabit his body. At that moment, Jason vowed to protect the innocent and hunt down the guilty, avenging those that were tragically taken from him.  But while Jason thought that his first enemy, Raiz, was long deceased, the evil sorcerer returns to Canton to obtain what Jason robbed him of: A magical item that grants anyone who possesses, it infinite power.  Aluria is the first in a series that tells a story about heroism, love and hope.
In 2014, Cook released ‘A Guide to Historic Dillsboro’, now an award-winning book that celebrates the historic town of Dillsboro, as well as raising money for the Appalachian Women’s Museum.  Later that year, he wrote ‘The One’ which was released in early 2015.
Cook says that ‘Aluria’ is the first in a series, and writing for the sequel has already begun. 
“I have so much more planned for the characters that have come to life for me,” Cook said.  “In the meantime, I hope the readers will fall in love with them the same way that I have.”
Books Unlimited will provide copies of Cook’s books at the event on May 7.  Reservations can be made by calling 828-369-7942.
For more information, 

Macon County Weather Briefing
Monday, April 18, 2016

National Forecast Map 
Courtesy of the NOAA Weather Prediction Center




OVERVIEW

A dry high pressure will dominate the local weather pattern through midweek, with temperatures warming to above normal levels. A cold front will slip down from the north on Wednesday, bringing cooler conditions with it. Rain chances will increase later in the week.



LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be holding a previously scheduled budget work session at 5:30 pm today in the lower level of town hall. Macon Media will be there and streaming it live. [LINK]

The Macon County Commissioners will be holding a special meeting at 5 pm, the primary purpose of which is supposed to be the approval of the Smoky Mountain Relay Course though portions of Macon County. Macon Media will be present and streaming this meeting live, too. [LINK]


TODAY

Sunny with highs near 80 and calm winds.



HAZARDS

No Hazardous Weather Expected. 


Relative Humidity values will be below 30% between 11 am and 8 pm. There may be an increased danger of fire spread if a fire gets out of prescribed boundaries due to undergrowth becoming dry.


Current Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Macon County can be viewed at any time at http://is.gd/MACONWARN



Pollen Report

The pollen level today will be high (10.8 out of 12.0) with Oak, Sweetgum and Poplar being the main producers of pollen. The pollen levels are expected to remain steady through Friday with pollen levels being between 10.1 and 11.5 on a scale of 0 to 12.


TONIGHT

Clear with lows near the mid 40s and variable light winds.


TUESDAY

Sunny with highs near the upper 70s and winds out of the northwest. Clouds increasing later in the day.


TUESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the lower 50s and light winds out of the northeast.


WEDNESDAY

Partly sunny with highs near the lower 70s.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the lowe 50s.



WEATHER ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS

• None in effect as of 4 am on April 18, 2016.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you have an event announcement, or wish to inquire about a day sponsorship, email the information to editor@maconmedia.com.

An advertising fee will be required for events that either charge admission or charge for vendor participation.




MACON COUNTY WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 18TH

Highest Temperature • 89°F at the Coweeta Experimental Lab in 1955
Lowest Temperature • 21°F in Highlands in 1903
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 3.07 inches at in Highlands in 1924
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • There has been no measurable snowfall on this date in Macon County since 1872, when record keeping began.


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN MACON COUNTY
(1872-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 91°F in Franklin on April 26, 1986
Lowest Temperature -- 13°F in Highlands on April 1, 1987
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 9.5 inches in Franklin on April 4, 1987


NORTH CAROLINA WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 18TH

Highest Temperature • 99°F in Abedeen, Moore County in 1896
Lowest Temperature • 12°F in Mount Mitchell, Yancey County in 1997
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 4.51 inches in Weldon, Halifax County in 1910
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 7.5 inches in Grandfather Mountain, Avery County in 2001


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
(1870-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 102°F in Carthage, Moore County on April 29, 1981
Lowest Temperature -- 0°F in Shelby, Cleveland County on April 29, 1927
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 19.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County on April 11, 2003


CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month.

If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at >> https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia

Franklin Town Board Plans Budget Work Session Later Today

Franklin Town Hall





Franklin Aldermen and Staff will hold a budget work session later today in the board room on the lower level. The public is welcome to attend and observe the process that takes place at about this time every year. The work session is scheduled to start at 5:30 pm. If any documents are made available to the press, then Macon Media will try to digitize those public documents and publish those online in the interest of transparency.


You can check out a budget work session that took place last year for reference. There is also a copy of last year's budget proposal in the article. [LINK]


Macon Media will be there, both recording video and streaming live video of the proceedings. If you cannot be at the town hall, you can watch our live stream. [LINK]


A simultaneous meeting of the Macon County Commissioners will be taking place at the county courthouse. Macon Media will be streaming that special meeting, too. More on that at this link.


TOWN OF FRANKLIN BOARD OF ALDERMEN

AGENDA
APRIL 18, 2016
5:30 PM

1. Call to Order - Mayor Bob Scott

2. Projected Revenue for Fiscal Year 2016-2017

3. Debt Service for Fiscal Year 2016-2017

4. Discussion on Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017

5. Update on Crosswalk Project for Fiscal Year 2015-2016

6. Adjourn

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Macon County Weather Briefing
Sunday, April 17, 2016

National Forecast Map 
Courtesy of the NOAA Weather Prediction Center




OVERVIEW

Dry high pressure will dominate the local weather pattern through midweek, with temperatures warming to above normal levels. A cold front will slip down from the north on Wednesday, bringing cooler conditions with it. Rain chances will increase later in the week.



TODAY

Sunny with highs near the mid 70s and calm winds rising to come from the south in the afternoon.



HAZARDS

No Hazardous Weather Expected. Relative Humidityvalues will be below 30% between 11 am and 7 pm. There may be an increased danger of fire spread if a fire gets out of prescribed boundaries due to undergrowth becoming dry.


Current Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Macon County can be viewed at any time at http://is.gd/MACONWARN


POLLEN REPORT

The pollen level today will be high (10.5 out of 12.0) with Oak, Sweetgum and Poplar being the main producers of pollen. The pollen levels are expected to remain steady through Wednesday with pollen levels being between 10.5 and 11.5 on a scale of 0 to 12.


TONIGHT

Clear with lows near the mid 40s and southeast winds calming before midnight.


MONDAY

Sunny with highs near the mid 70s and variable light winds.


MONDAY NIGHT

Clear with lows near 50 and variable light winds.



WEATHER ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS


• None in effect as of 3 am on April 17, 2016.


ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you have an event announcement, or wish to inquire about a day sponsorship, email the information to editor@maconmedia.com.

An advertising fee will be required for events that either charge admission or charge for vendor participation.




MACON COUNTY WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 17TH

Highest Temperature • 88°F at the Coweeta Experimental Lab in 2008
Lowest Temperature • 19°F in Highlands in 2014
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 3.06 inches at in Highlands in 1945
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • There has been no measurable snowfall on this date in Macon County since 1872, when record keeping began.


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN MACON COUNTY
(1872-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 91°F in Franklin on April 26, 1986
Lowest Temperature -- 13°F in Highlands on April 1, 1987
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 9.5 inches in Franklin on April 4, 1987


NORTH CAROLINA WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 17TH

Highest Temperature • 101°F in Abedeen, Moore County in 1922
Lowest Temperature • 12°F in Montreat, Yancey County in 1943
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 5.33 inches in Patterson, Caldwell County in 1969
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 4.0 inches in Grandfather Mountain, Avery County in 2008


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
(1870-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 102°F in Carthage, Moore County on April 29, 1981
Lowest Temperature -- 0°F in Shelby, Cleveland County on April 29, 1927
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 19.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County on April 11, 2003


CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month.

If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at >> https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia


Friday, April 15, 2016

Macon County Weather Briefing
Friday, April 15, 2016

National Forecast Map 
Courtesy of the NOAA Weather Prediction Center



OVERVIEW

A stationary front should remain to our south through Friday. A strong high pressure will build across the region through Saturday, persisting into early next week. It will allow warmer air to flow into the county until a weak cold front dips down from the north late Tuesday, bringing cooler temperatures in its wake.



TODAY

Mostly sunny with highs near the mid 60s and winds out of the southeast 5 to 10 mph. Relative Humidity values will be dropping below 30% between 10 am and 5 pm today. If you do burn outdoors, please take extra precautions.



HAZARDS

No Hazardous Weather Expected. Relative Humidity values will be below 30% between 10 am and 5 pm. There may be an increased danger of fire spread if a fire gets out of prescribed boundaries due to undergrowth becoming dry.


Current Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Macon County can be viewed at any time at http://is.gd/MACONWARN


POLLEN REPORT



The pollen level today will be high (10.7 out of 12.0) with Oak, Sweetgum and Poplar being the main producers of pollen. The pollen levels are expected to gradually increase with pollen levels being between 10.5 and 11.5 on a scale of 0 to 12.


TONIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near 40 and southeast winds shifting to come from the north before midnight.


SATURDAY

Mostly sunny with highs near the upper 60s and winds out of the east.



SATURDAY NIGHT

Mostly clear with lows near 40 and winds out of the east northeast.


SUNDAY

Sunny with highs near the low 70s and calm winds rising to come from the east before noon.


SUNDAY NIGHT

Clear with lows near the low 40s.



WEATHER ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS

• None in effect as of 3 am on April 15, 2016.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you have an event announcement, or wish to inquire about a day sponsorship, email the information to editor@maconmedia.com.

An advertising fee will be required for events that either charge admission or charge for vendor participation.


Saturday, April 16th
7 am to 10 am


Macon TRACS is having a Fundraisng Pancake Breakfast at Fatz Cafe' in Franklin. Adults $7 and children $4.
Read more at http://thunderpigblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/macon-tracs-is-having-pancake.html

Monday, April 18th
5 pm


The Macon County Commissioners are holding a Special Meeting, the main purpose of which is to approve the Smoky Mountain Relay Race route through Macon County on April 22nd and 23rd. More information, including a draft approval letter, can be seen at http://thunderpigblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/macon-county-commissioners-plan-special.html

Saturday, May 7th
2 to 4 pm

8th Annual American Girl Tea Party


REACH of Macon County is excited to announce our upcoming 8th Annual American Girl Tea Party: "Be Courageous, Life's Path Is Always An Adventure", slated for Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 2:00 – 4:00 with doors opening at 1:30. The event will be held at Cowee Baptist Church and is a multigenerational event for individuals of all ages. We would like to cordially invite you to attend this years tea party which will focus on being courageous! The Staff at REACH are particularly excited about this year’s tea party as we have a myriad of fun activities planned including: a photo booth, a nail painting station, a doll hair station, a craft station, and so much more. We will also be raffling off the American Girl Doll of the Year, a stay at the Alpharetta Marriott ‘s American Girl Doll Suite, and an adult prize raffle. It is sure to be fun for girls of all ages!

More information and tickets are available at Eventbrite.


MACON COUNTY WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 15TH

Highest Temperature • 86°F at the Coweeta Experimental Lab in 2001
Lowest Temperature • 20°F in Highlands in 1973
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 2.98 inches at in Highlands in 1997
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • There has been no measurable snowfall on this date in Macon County since 1872, when record keeping began.


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN MACON COUNTY
(1872-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 91°F in Franklin on April 26, 1986
Lowest Temperature -- 13°F in Highlands on April 1, 1987
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 9.5 inches in Franklin on April 4, 1987


NORTH CAROLINA WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 15TH

Highest Temperature • 96°F in Greenville, Pitt County in 1922
Lowest Temperature • 6°F in Montreat, Yancey County in 1943
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 4.00 inches in Lake Toxaway, Transylvania County in 1969
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 3.0 inches in Mount Mitchell, Yancey County in 2008


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
(1870-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 102°F in Carthage, Moore County on April 29, 1981
Lowest Temperature -- 0°F in Shelby, Cleveland County on April 29, 1927
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 19.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County on April 11, 2003


CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month.

If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at >> https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Macon County Commissioners Plan Special Meeting for Monday, April 18th


The Macon County Commissioners will be holding a special meeting on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 5 pm to approve the running of the Smoky Mountain Relay Race through Macon County. Live coverage can be seen on Livestream.

A copy of the draft approval letter is below:



Sourwood Running, LLC
Attention: James C. Brendle, Registered Agent
2812 Old Stage Road
Central Point, OR 97502

Dear Jim:

It is Macon County’s understanding that Sourwood Running, LLC, has made request of the North Carolina Department of Transportation for permission for it to run a portion of its “Smoky Mountain Relay” running event which is scheduled to occur on April 22 and 23, 2016, through Macon County, North Carolina. Macon County is pleased that Sourwood Running, LLC, has chosen to make this request and that it has included Macon County within the “Smoky Mountain Relay” running course. As you know, Macon County is a beautiful county and our County welcomes Sourwood Running, LLC, the “Smoky Mountain Relay”, the runners and those associated with this great running event to come and enjoy Macon County during the “Smoky Mountain Relay” upon Sourwood Running, LLC, receiving all requisite approvals from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Thank you for providing the maps and description of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” course so that Macon County is able to see where the “Smoky Mountain Relay” course will be located in Macon County, NC.

We understand that as part of the permission request process with the North Carolina Department of Transportation that you need certain acknowledgments and approvals from Macon County as follows:

A. Written acknowledgment and approval of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” by Macon County given that a portion of this relay race will be situate in Macon County; and

B. Written acknowledgment and approval that the “Smoky Mountain Relay” and in particular that portion of the same which is to be situate in Macon County is supported by the Macon County Board of Commissioners.

Please accept this letter as acknowledgment and approval by Macon County and the Macon County Board of Commissioners of Sourwood Runners, LLC, an Oregon, LLC, conducting on April 22 and 23, 2016, that portion of the “Smoky Mountain Relay” which is to be situate in Macon County, North Carolina, subject to Sourwood Running, LLC receiving all requisite approvals from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Again, welcome to Macon County.

Sincerely,


Derek Roland
Macon County Manager


School Board hires Execptional Children's Director, Macon County Schools, and an Assistant Principal for South Macon Elementary School

School Board File Photo from Jan 2014

The Macon County Board of Education held a work session on policy items yesterday afternoon. Macon Media was unable to cover the meeting due to a scheduling conflict. Here is a press release from the school system on action board members took after a closed session to discuss personnel matters:



Following our work session to discuss our board policy manual, the board entered into executive session pursuant to:

·         143-318.11.(a)(5) To establish, or to instruct the public body’s staff or negotiating agents concerning the position to be taken by or on behalf of the public body in negotiating (i) the price and other material terms of a contract or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase, option, exchange, or lease;
·         143.318.11.(a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee.

The Board returned to open session at which time on a motion made by Tommy Cabe and seconded by Stephanie McCall, the Personnel Report was approved as presented. The Personnel Report contained the following items:

·         Nancy Cantrell, Secondary Curriculum Director, Macon County Schools, Change in Status, to Exceptional Children’s Director, Macon County Schools, effective July 1, 2016
·         Landon Holland, Assistant Principal, South Macon Elementary School, effective August 1, 2016

Macon TRACS is having a Pancake Fundraiser on April 16th


FUNDRAISER ANNOUNCEMENT

Macon TRACS
(Therapeutic Riding for Adults' and Children's Success)

Fundraisng Pancake Breakfast at Fatz Cafe' in Franklin

Saturday, April 16th 7 am to 10 am

Adult $7.00 Children $4.00

Macon TRACS, Inc. is a local 501-c-3 non profit providing Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy to special needs individuals in our community.


Visit their website to find out more about their activities. [LINK]

PRSS RELEASE
Results are In! Fontana Regional Library Survey Sheds Light on Community Priorities and Library Use

Library Press Release



In advance of National Library Week, which was celebrated earlier this month, Fontana Regional Library conducted a survey of library users and non-users, asking them to name their top priorities for the community’s future. Library staff surveyed 1,001 people in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties and learned that there are 5 important areas on people’s minds: education, employment and the economy, health and mental health, diversity, and connectivity.

Education is lifelong, whether it’s a traditional school environment, online learning, attending a workshop, or reading a magazine article to learn something new. The library works with local schools and homeschoolers to support teachers, students, and parents. Many students take classes online and need the computers and Internet connections available at the library. But you don’t have to be a student to find something new at the library. If you want to learn about what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail or how to stream music or use your iPhone, the library is the place to go to get the help you need to explore a new skill or interest.

Jobs and the economic health of a community are always important to the people who live and work there, and libraries play a role in building those connections. Throughout the country, 30 million people each year use library computers and Internet access for employment and career purposes. Your local public library has computers and Internet access to help with your resume writing or job search, as well as knowledgeable staff to assist you in the process. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, the library can help with that, too.

Everyone is concerned about health, either their own or that of their loved ones. Every year, 28 million people use libraries to research health and wellness issues, including medical conditions, medical procedures, diet or nutrition, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. Locally, the library is a place to connect with a healthcare navigator to learn about the Affordable Care Act or the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). Mental health groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) use the library for community classes and information meetings. In order to share your good health with others, you can even give blood at some local libraries.

Our communities are growing and changing. Libraries provide public spaces where everyone is welcome and where we can all learn about each other. With longtime residents joined by visitors, students and other newcomers eager to learn about mountain traditions and share their own, our local communities are growing and flourishing. Our libraries offer people opportunities to meet and socialize with others, whether attending a meeting, a social event, or a program featuring art, music, literature, or another cultural topic.

Affordable broadband connectivity is important for our rural communities. In some areas, the geography makes Internet access a challenge, or even an impossibility. In addition, many people cannot pay the cost of high-speed Internet access. Local libraries bridge these gaps, providing free access to the Internet and staff members trained to troubleshoot the most common connection problems. Whether a person needs to download an article for a school research project, visit Facebook to catch up with friends or family, or fill out an online job application, Library internet access allows people to link to the resources they need. Staff are always on hand to assist as necessary.

In addition to gauging community priorities, the local library survey asked why - or why not - people use the library. Of the 1,001 people who took the survey, 68% said they visit their library regularly. That percentage is far higher than the national average of only 46% of all Americans who report they’ve visited a library within the past year.

When people visit the library, they say they enjoy checking out books, magazines, and DVDs. They take advantage of the variety of programs, events, classes, and workshops, and they use computers, tablets, and wi-fi. Library users bring family and friends, and they enjoy using the various spaces at the library, including study rooms, meeting rooms, and reading areas.

For people who do not currently use the library, the reasons are varied: Some people said they feel they can get all the information they need from the Internet; some simply buy their own books, magazine subscriptions, music and movies; and some are just too busy to include a trip to the library in their hectic schedules.

“These responses from the people who do not use our services are nevertheless very important to us,” says Fontana Regional Library Director Karen Wallace. “They show us that we must continue to get the word out about what the library offers, including not only materials and programs but also staff expertise. For example, the library offers staff research assistance and basic technology training, as well as free access to subscription databases, which provide authoritative information that is otherwise only available for a fee. And for those too busy to come into the library, we offer e-Books, e-Magazines, e-Audiobooks, and even streamable video to our patrons. That’s right, many of our most dedicated users haven’t entered a library building in years!”

Fontana Regional Library and its locations in Sylva, Cashiers, Highlands, Franklin, Nantahala, and the Reading Rover bookmobile invite the public to come explore the world of today’s libraries. For more information about how a library can assist you, please call your local library.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Macon County Commissioners
Regular April 2016 Meeting

Regular April 2016 Meeting of the Macon County Commissioners

The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6 pm in the Commissioners Boardroom on the Third Floor of the Macon County Courthouse.

The public agenda and the press packet are posted below. 


VIDEO




MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
APRIL 12, 2016
AGENDA

  • Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin
  • Announcements
    • NCACC Update Video
  • Moment of Silence
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Public Hearing(s) - NONE
  • Public Comment Period
  • Additions to agenda
  • Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
  • Reports/Presentations
    • Recognition of the 100th Anniversary of Holly Springs School - Chuck Coburn, President, Holly Springs Community Development Club
    • Southwestern Commission Annual Report - Executive Director Ryan Sherby
    • Tour Macon County NC - Dale McGiboney
  • Old Business
  • New Business
    • Resolution and agreement regarding Macon County Business Development Center lease to Magnetic Wrench Manufacturing - Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins
    • Proposed amendment to the Little Tennessee River Greenway Ordinance - County Attorney
    • Agreements regarding "Story Walk" - County Attorney
  • Consent Agenda - Attachment #12
      All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.
    • Minutes of the March 8, 2016 regular meeting
    • Budget Amendments #168-174
    • Tax Releases
    • Tax Refund
  • Appointments
    • Town of Franklin Planning Board and Board of Adjustment (ETJ representative)
  • Closed session (if necessary)
  • Adjourn/Recess




Weather Briefing for Macon County
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

National Forecast Map 
Courtest of the NOAA Weather Prediction Center




OVERVIEW
A cold front is expected to cross the region today, taking the increased rain chances with it to our east and south. Our area should remain dry the rest of the week.


TODAY 

Patchy fog before 9 am, mostly cloudy with calm winds rising to come from the north by mid morning and rain expected before 2 pm, ending sometime in the late afternoon. Highs near the mid 60s. Rainfall amounts expected to be between a quarter and half an inch.



HAZARDS

No Hazardous Weather Expected.


Current Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Macon County can be viewed at any time at http://is.gd/MACONWARN


Pollen Report
POLLEN REPORT

The pollen level today will be low-medium (4.1 out of 12.0) with Oak, Juniper and Birch being the main producers of pollen. The pollen levels are expected to return to their usual springtime highs for the rest of the week with pollen levels being between 10 and 11 on a scale of 0 to 12.


TONIGHT

Partly cloudy with lows near the mid 40s and winds out of the northeast 5 to 10 mph before midnight, calming for a few hours around midnight, then picking up again before dawn.


WEDNESDAY

Mostly sunny with highs near the mid 60s and winds from the northeast becoming light and variable in the afternoon.



WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the mid to lower 40s and light wind out of the east.


THURSDAY
Partly sunny with highs near the mid 60s and a slight chance of rain around noon.


THURSDAY NIGHT
Mostly cloudy with lows near the low to mid 40s.



WEATHER ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS

• None in effect as of 3 am on April 12, 2016.


ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you have an event announcement, or wish to inquire about a day sponsorship, email the information to editor@maconmedia.com.

An advertising fee will be required for events that either charge admission or charge for vendor participation.




MACON COUNTY WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 12TH
Highest Temperature • 87°F in Franklin in 2001
Lowest Temperature • 22°F in Franklin in 1973
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 2.73 inches at in Highlands in 1997
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • There has been no measurable snowfall on this date in Macon County since 1872, when record keeping began.


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN MACON COUNTY
(1872-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 91°F in Franklin on April 26, 1986
Lowest Temperature -- 13°F in Highlands on April 1, 1987
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 9.5 inches in Franklin on April 4, 1987


NORTH CAROLINA WEATHER EXTREME ALMANAC FOR APRIL 12TH

Highest Temperature • 98°F in Kinston, Lenoir County in 1930
Lowest Temperature • 3°F in Montreat, Yancey County in 1940
Greatest One-Day Precipitation • 5.28 inches in Lake Toxaway, Transylvania County in 2013
Greatest One-Day Snowfall • 17.0 inches in Mount Mitchell, Yancey County in 1988


WEATHER EXTREMES FOR APRIL IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
(1870-2016)


Highest Temperature -- 102°F in Carthage, Moore County on April 29, 1981
Lowest Temperature -- 0°F in Shelby, Cleveland County on April 29, 1927
Greatest One-Day Precipitation – 7.00 inches in Highlands on April 7, 1895
Greatest One-Day Snowfall – 19.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County on April 11, 2003


CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month.

If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at >> https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia

Monday, April 11, 2016

Emergency Preparedness for Pets...and Your Family

A Bearded Collie

Today is National Pet Day, and, in honor of that, here are some tips to consider when making your emergency plan for your family that include your furry, or not so furry, members of your family:

When creating a disaster plan for your family - don't forget your pets. While you are away from home, confining your pet to a specific room in the house can aid rescuers in the event of a structure fire or other disaster. Place emergency stickers with the number and location of your pets in prominent places near doors and windows. Close interior doors to keep fire from spreading. If you change the location of the pets, remember to change the information on the emergency stickers.

Here are some websites you can refer to as resources for including pets in your emergency plan. (Below that is information for creating an emergency plan for your family in case you haven't done that).

PET EMERGENCY PLAN RESOURCES

[American Red Cross] Your Plan Should Include All Family Members

ASPCA: Disaster Preparedness

[CDC] Disaster Preparedness for your Pet

[FEMA] Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Pet Owners

[READY.GOV] Pet and Animal Emergency Planning

[RED ROVER] Pet Disaster Preparedness


EMERGENCY PLAN RESOURCES FOR YOUR FAMILY




[CDC] Make a Plan

[NC Dept of Public Safety] Emergency Preparedness
[READY.GOV] Make a Plan

[SC Emergency Management  Division]  Family Disaster Planning


Why talk about a Family Disaster Plan?

  • Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services, such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.
  • Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Learn more about Family Disaster Plans by contacting your local emergency management office or your local American Red Cross chapter.

Awareness Information

  • A National Weather Service (NWS) WATCH is a message indicating that conditions favor the occurrence of a certain type of hazardous weather. For example, a severe thunderstorm watch means that a severe thunderstorm is expected in the next six hours or so within an area approximately 120 to 150 miles wide and 300 to 400 miles long (36,000 to 60,000 square miles). The NWS Storm Prediction Center issues such watches. Local NWS forecast offices issue other watches (flash flood, winter weather, etc.) 12 to 36 hours in advance of a possible hazardous-weather or flooding event. Each local forecast office usually covers a state or a portion of a state.
  • An NWS WARNING indicates that a hazardous event is occurring or is imminent in about 30 minutes to an hour. Local NWS forecast offices issue warnings on a county-by-county basis.

Four Steps to Safety


Complete four steps to safety. There are four basic steps to developing a family disaster plan:

1. Find out what could happen to you. By learning what your risks may be, you can prepare for the disaster most likely to occur in your area. Learn more by contacting your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter. Be prepared to take notes. Ask the following:
  • What type of disasters are most likely to happen in your community? Identify which human-caused or technological disasters can affect your region, too. Remember to consider major chemical emergencies that can occur anywhere chemical substances are stored, manufactured, or transported.
  • How should you prepare for each?
  • Does your community have a public warning system? What do your community’s warning signals sound like and what should you do when you hear them?
  • What about animal care after disaster? Pets (other than service animals) are not permitted in places where food is served, according to many local health department regulations. Plan where you would take your pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted.
  • If you care for elderly or disabled persons, how can you help them? What might be some special needs to consider?
  • What are the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or day care center, and other places where members of your family spend time? You should be prepared wherever you may be when disaster strikes and learn steps you can take to prevent or avoid disasters.
  • 2. Create a Family Disaster Plan. Once you know what disasters are possible in your area, talk about how to prepare and how to respond if one occurs. Make checklists of steps you can take as you discuss this information with your family.
    Here is how to create your Family Disaster Plan:
  • Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team. Keep it simple enough so people can remember the important details. A disaster is an extremely stressful situation that can create confusion. The best emergency plans are those with very few details.
  • Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing disasters ahead of time will help reduce fear and anxiety and will help everyone know how to respond.
  • Pick two places to meet:
  • Right outside of your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
  • Outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home or are asked to leave your neighborhood. Everyone must know the address and phone number of the meeting locations.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during floods or other disasters, have a plan for getting back together. Separation is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school.
  • Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your "family contact." Your contact should live outside of your area. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long distance call than a local call. Family members should call the contact and tell him or her where they are. Everyone must know the contact’s name, address, and phone number.
  • Discuss what to do if authorities ask you to evacuate. Make arrangements for a place to stay with a friend or relative who lives out of town and/or learn about shelter locations.
  • Be familiar with escape routes. Depending on the type of disaster, it may be necessary to evacuate your home. Plan several escape routes in case certain roads are blocked or closed. Remember to follow the advice of local officials during evacuation situations. They will direct you to the safest route; some roads may be blocked or put you in further danger.
  • Plan how to take care of your pets. Pets (other than service animals) are not permitted to be in places where food is served, according to many local health department regulations. Plan where you would take your pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted.
  • 3. Complete your checklists. Take the steps outlined in the checklists you made when you created your Family Disaster Plan. Remember to include the following items on your checklists.
  • Post by phones emergency telephone numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). You may not have time in an emergency to look up critical numbers.
  • Teach all responsible family members how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches or valves. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. Turn off utilities only if you suspect a leak or damaged lines, or if you are instructed to do so by authorities. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Paint shut-off valves with white or fluorescent paint to increase visibility. Attach a shut-off valve wrench or other special tool in a conspicuous place close to the gas and water shut-off valves.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage. Ask your insurance agent to review your current policies to ensure that they will cover your home and belongings adequately. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood losses. If you are a renter, your landlord’s insurance does not protect your personal property; it only protects the building. Renters’ insurance pays if a renter’s property is damaged or stolen. Renters’ insurance costs less than $15 a month in most areas of the country. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Smoke alarms cut nearly in half your chances of dying in a home fire. Smoke alarms sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and flaming fires. Many areas are now requiring hard-wired smoke alarms in new homes.
  • Get training from the fire department on how to use your fire extinguisher (A-B-C type), and show family members where extinguishers are kept. Different extinguishers operate in different ways. Unless responsible family members know how to use your particular model, they may not be able to use it effectively. There is no time to read directions during an emergency. Only adults should handle and use extinguishers.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt. During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, during an earthquake or a tornado, a hot water heater or a bookshelf could turn over or pictures hanging over a couch could fall and hurt someone. Look for electrical, chemical, and fire hazards. Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit. (See the "Disaster Supplies Kit" section.) Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, clearly labeled, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffel bags.
  • Keep a smaller Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car. (See the "Disaster Supplies Kit" section.) If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having these items will help you to be more comfortable.
  • Keep a portable, battery-operated radio or television and extra batteries. Maintaining a communications link with the outside is a step that can mean the difference between life and death. Make sure that all family members know where the portable, battery-operated radio or television is located, and always keep a supply of extra batteries.
  • Consider using a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone-alert feature. NOAA Weather Radio is the best means to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service continuously broadcasts updated weather warnings and forecasts that can be received by NOAA Weather Radios, which are sold in many stores. NOAA Weather Radio now broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards both natural (such as weather and flooding, as well as earthquakes and volcanic activity) and technological (such as chemical releases or oil spills). Working with other federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission’s new Emergency Alert System, NOAA Weather Radio is an "all hazards" radio network, making it the single source for the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public. Your National Weather Service recommends purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio that has both a battery backup and a Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) feature, which automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued for your county, giving you immediate information about a life-threatening situation. The average range is 40 miles, depending on topography. The NOAA Weather Radio signal is a line-of-sight signal, which does not bore through hills or mountains.
  • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class. Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid. These are critical skills, and learning can be a fun activity for older children.
  • Plan home escape routes. Determine the best escape routes from your home in preparation for a fire or other emergency that would require you to leave the house quickly. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safe places in your home for each type of disaster. Different disasters often require different types of safe places. While basements are appropriate for tornadoes, they could be deadly in a major chemical emergency.
  • Make two photocopies of vital documents and keep the originals in a safe deposit box. Keep one copy in a safe place in the house, and give the second copy to an out-of-town friend or relative. Vital documents such as birth and marriage certificates, tax records, credit card numbers, financial records, and wills and trusts can be lost during disasters.
  • Make a complete inventory of your home, garage, and surrounding property. The inventory can be either written or videotaped. Include information such as serial numbers, make and model numbers, physical descriptions, and price of purchases (receipts, if possible). This list could help you prove the value of what you owned if your possessions are damaged or destroyed and can help you to claim deductions on taxes. Be sure to include expensive items such as sofas, chairs, tables, beds, chests, wall units, and any other furniture too heavy to move. Do this for all items in your home, on all levels. Then store a copy of the record somewhere away from home, such as in a safe deposit box.
  • 4. Practice and maintain your plan. Practicing your plan will help you instinctively make the appropriate response during an actual emergency. You will need to review your plan periodically and you may need to change some parts.
  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do, meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills at least twice a year. Actually drive evacuation routes so each driver will know the way. Select alternate routes in case the main evacuation route is blocked during an actual disaster. Mark your evacuation routes on a map; keep the map in your Disaster Supplies Kit. Remember to follow the advice of local officials during evacuation situations. They will direct you to the safest route, away from roads that may be blocked or put you in further danger.
  • Replace stored food and water every six months. Replacing your food and water supplies will help ensure freshness.
  • Use the test button to test your smoke alarms once a month. The test feature tests all electronic functions and is safer than testing with a controlled fire (matches, lighters, or cigarettes). If necessary, replace batteries immediately. Make sure children know what your smoke alarm sounds like.
  • If you have battery-powered smoke alarms, replace batteries at least once a year. Some agencies recommend you replace batteries when the time changes from standard daylight savings each spring and again in the fall. "Change your clock, change your batteries," is a positive theme and has become a common phrase. While replacing batteries this often certainly will not hurt, available data show that batteries will last at least a year, so more frequent replacement is not necessary, and time does not change in Arizona, Hawaii, the eastern portion of Indiana, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Guam.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replacing them every 10 years is a joint recommendation by the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.
  • Look at your fire extinguisher to ensure it is properly charged. Fire extinguishers will not work properly if they are not properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacement or recharging fire extinguishers. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded, replace it or have it professionally serviced.
  • What to Tell Children

    • Tell children that a disaster is something that happens that could hurt people, cause damage, or cut off utilities such as water, telephones, or electricity. Explain to them that nature sometimes provides "too much of a good thing"--fire, rain, wind, snow. Talk about typical effects that children can relate to, such as loss of electricity, water, and telephone service.
    • Give examples of several disasters that could happen in your community. Help children recognize the warning signs for the disasters that could happen in your community.Discussing disaster ahead of time reduces fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.
    • Teach children how and when to call for help. Check the telephone directory for local emergency telephone numbers. If you live in a 9-1-1 service area, teach children to call 9-1-1. At home, post emergency telephone numbers by all phones and explain when to call each number. Even very young children can be taught how and when to call for emergency assistance. If a child can’t read, make an emergency telephone number chart with pictures that may help the child identify the correct number to call.
    • Explain that when people know what to do and practice in advance, everyone is better able to handle emergencies. That’s why you need to create a Family Disaster Plan.
    • Have older children take a first aid and CPR course. These are critical skills, and learning can be a fun activity.
    • Tell children that in a disaster there are many people who can help them. Talk about ways that an emergency manager, Red Cross volunteer, police officer, firefighter, teacher, neighbor, doctor, or utility worker might help following a disaster.
    • Teach children to call your family contact in case they are separated from the family in an emergency. Help them memorize the telephone number, or write it down on a card that they can keep with them.

    Remember Your Pets

    • Plan how to take care of your pets. If you must evacuate, it is best to take your pets with you. However, pets (other than service animals) are not permitted in public shelters, according to many local health department regulations and because of other considerations.
    • Contact hotels and motels outside of your immediate area to check their policies on accepting pets and restrictions on the number, size, and species. Ask if "no pet" policies could be waived in an emergency.
    • Ask friends, relatives, or others outside of the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
    • Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers. Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster. Animal shelters may be overburdened, so this should be your last resort.
    • Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including their phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.
    • Carry pets in a sturdy carrier. Animals may feel threatened by some disasters and become frightened or try to run.
    • Have identification, collar, leash, and proof of vaccinations for all pets. Veterinarian records may be required by some locations before they will allow you to board your pets. If your pet is lost, identification will help officials return it to you.
    • Assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit. Keep food, water, and any special pet needs in an easy-to-carry container.
    • Have a current photo of your pets in case they get lost.
    • As a last resort, if you absolutely must leave your pets behind, prepare an emergency pen in the home that includes a three-day supply of dry food and a large container of fresh water.

    Media and Community Education Ideas

    • Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. Working with neighbors can save lives and property. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a homeowner’s association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Check with your local fire department to find out if they offer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
    • Know your neighbors’ special skills (for example, medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons.
    • Identify elderly and disabled people in the neighborhood. Ask them how you can help if a disaster threatens (transportation, securing the home, getting medications, etc.).
    • Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.

    Evacuation

    • Evacuate immediately if told to do so. Authorities do not ask people to leave unless they truly feel lives may be in danger. Follow their advice.
    • Listen to local radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. Local officials will provide you with the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
    • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Disaster areas and debris contain many hazards. The most common injury following disasters is cut feet.
    • Lock your home. Others may evacuate after you or before you return. Secure your house as you normally would when leaving for extended periods.
    • Use travel routes specified by local authorities. Don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
    • If you have only moments before leaving, grab the following items and go:
      • First aid kit, including prescription medications, dentures, extra eyeglasses, and hearing aid batteries.
      • Disaster Supplies Kit basics and Evacuation Supplies Kit. (See " Disaster Supplies Kit" section for detailed information.)
      • A change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member.
      • Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend’s or relative’s home).
    If you’re sure you have time and if local officials haven’t advised an immediate evacuation, but there’s a chance the weather may get worse or flooding may happen, take steps to protect your home and belongings:
    • Bring all pets into the house and confine them to one room, if you can. If necessary, make arrangements for your pets. Pets may try to run if they feel threatened. Keeping them inside and in one room will allow you to find them quickly if you need to leave.
    • Put your Disaster Supplies Kit basics and Evacuation Supplies Kit in your vehicle, or by the door if you may be leaving on foot. In some disaster situations, such as tsunami, it is better to leave by foot.
    • Notify your family contact where you are going and when you expect to get there. Relatives and friends will be concerned about your safety. Letting someone know your travel plans will help relieve the fear and anxiety of those who care.
    • Bring things indoors. Lawn furniture, trash cans, children’s toys, garden equipment, clotheslines, hanging plants, and any other objects that may be blown around or swept away should be brought indoors.
    • Look for potential hazards. Look for coconuts, unripened fruit, and other objects in trees around your property that could blow or break off and fly around in strong winds. Cut them off and store them indoors until the storm is over. If you have not already cut away dead or diseased branches or limbs from trees and shrubs, leave them alone. Local rubbish collection services will not have time before the storm to pick anything up.
    • Turn off electricity at the main fuse or breaker, and turn off water at the main valve. Unless local officials advise otherwise, leave natural gas on because you will need it for heating and cooking when you return home. If you turn gas off, a licensed professional is required to turn it back on, and it may take weeks for a professional to respond.
    • Turn off propane gas service. Propane tanks often become damaged or dislodged in disasters.
    • If strong winds are expected, cover the outside of all the windows of your home. Use shutters that are rated to provide significant protection from windblown debris, or pre-fit plywood coverings over all windows.
    • If flooding is expected, consider using sand bags to keep water away from your home. It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a wall one foot high and 20 feet long. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap, or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.

    After a Disaster

    • Remain calm and patient. Staying calm and rational will help you move safely and avoid delays or accidents caused by irrational behavior. Many people will be trying to accomplish the same things you are for their family’s safety. Patience will help everyone get through a difficult situation more easily.
    • Put your plan into action. Having specific steps to take will keep you working toward your family’s safety.
    • Listen to local radio or television for news and instructions. Local authorities will provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
    • Check for injuries. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people. Taking care of yourself first will allow you to help others safely until emergency responders arrive.
    • Help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities--and the people who care for them or for large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation.
    • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Disaster areas and debris contain many hazards. The most common injury following disasters is cut feet.
    • Check for damage in your home. Disasters can cause extensive damage, sometimes in places you least expect. Look carefully for any potential hazards.
      • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest and does not present a fire hazard for the user, occupants, or building.
      • Avoid using candles. Candles can easily cause fires. They are quiet and easily forgotten. They can tip over during earthquake aftershocks or in a gust of wind. Candles invite fire play by children. More than three times as many people have died in residential fires caused by using candles after a disaster than from the direct impact of the disaster itself.
      • Look for fire hazards. There may be broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods.
      • Check for gas leaks. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
      • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.
      • Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.
      • Clean up spills immediately. This includes medicines, bleach, gasoline, and other flammable liquids.
      • Watch for loose plaster and ceilings that could fall.
      • Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
    • Confine or secure your pets. They may be frightened and try to run.
    • Let your family contact know you have returned home and then do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.
    • Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off. Water is often contaminated after major disasters. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of drinking water.
    • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately. Getting damaged utilities turned off will prevent further injury or damage. If possible, set out a flare and stay on the scene to warn others until authorities arrive.

    For People with Disabilities

  • Persons with disabilities, or those who may have mobility problems (such as elderly persons), should prepare as anyone else. In addition, they may want to consider some of the following steps:
    • Create a network of relatives, friends, or co-workers to assist in an emergency. If you think you may need assistance in a disaster, discuss your disability with relatives, friends, or co-workers and ask for their help. For example, if you need help moving or require special arrangements to receive emergency messages, make a plan with friends. Make sure they know where you keep your disaster supplies. Give a key to a neighbor or friend who may be able to assist you in a disaster.
    • Maintain a list of important items and store it with your emergency supplies. Give a copy to another family member and a friend or neighbor. Important items might include:
      • Special equipment and supplies, for example, hearing aid batteries.
      • Current prescription names and dosages.
      • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors and pharmacists.
      • Detailed information about the specifications of your medication regime.
    • Contact your local emergency management office now. Many local emergency management offices maintain registers of people with disabilities and their needs so they can be located and assisted quickly in a disaster.
    • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify your disability in case of an emergency. These may save your life if you are in need of medical attention and unable to communicate.
    • Know the location and availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment. There may be several people requiring equipment, or facilities may have been affected by the disaster.

    If you have a severe speech, language, or hearing disability:

    • When you dial 9-1-1, tap the space bar to indicate a TDD call.
    • Store a writing pad and pencils to communicate with others.
    • Keep a flashlight handy to signal your whereabouts to other people and for illumination to aid in communication.
    • Remind friends that you cannot completely hear warnings or emergency instructions. Ask them to be your source of emergency information as it comes over the radio. Another option is to use a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone-alert feature connected to lights. When a watch or warning is issued for your area, the light would alert you to potential danger.
    • If you have a hearing ear dog, be aware that the dog may become confused or disoriented in an emergency.
    • If you have a hearing ear dog, store extra food, water, and supplies for your dog. Trained hearing ear dogs will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Check with local emergency management officials for more information.

    If you are blind or visually impaired:

  • Keep extra canes well placed around the home and office, even if you use a guide dog.
  • If you have a guide dog, be aware that the dog may become confused or disoriented in an emergency.
  • If you have a guide dog, store extra food, water, and supplies for your dog. Trained guide dogs will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Check with local emergency management officials for more information.
  • If you need a wheelchair, show friends how to operate your wheelchair so they can move you if necessary. Make sure friends know the size of your wheelchair in case it has to be transported, and where to get a battery if needed.
    Listen to the advice of local officials. People with disabilities have the same choices as other community residents about whether to evacuate their homes and where to go when an emergency threatens. Decide whether it is better to leave the area, stay with a friend, or go to a public shelter. Each of these decisions requires planning and preparation.