December 13, 20210


Tornado outbreak of December 10–11, 2021 - Wikipedia

December 10-11 2021 tornado map.  The areas that were affected by the tornado were: Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Release Date:
December 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to Kentucky today where they were briefed by local and commonwealth officials and held a media briefing with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

The tour allowed Criswell and Mayorkas to see the tornado destruction firsthand and meet with first responders and emergency management officials conducting operations throughout the state. They toured areas of Graves and Marshall counties, also seeing the destroyed Mayfield Consumer Products factory.

“To all of the people of Kentucky, my heart goes out to each and every one of you who have experienced the tragic events from these tornadoes,” said Administrator Criswell. “I want you to know that the nation, your country, is praying with you. We’ve been seeing the pictures of this, but standing there in these communities, you don’t get that feeling from a picture. When you stand in one direction and look and see all of the devastations and then just turn to your right and all of the devastations around you, you can’t understand how this has impacted these communities until you’re there,” she continued.  “That’s why it’s so important to be here to see it for myself, so we can make sure that we’re providing the right level of assistance to help with your response and your ongoing recovery.”

Criswell added that FEMA still will be working with the commonwealth on all their long-term recovery needs as these communities start to rebuild.

For additional photos from today’s tour visit FEMA’s DVIDS page.

Men and Women Talking in a circle

BENTON, Ky. — Kentucky Emergency Management Director Mike Dossett (center) briefs DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (left) and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (right) as they begin touring damage throughout the area.

A man pointing at a board in from a woman, a man and another man

BENTON, Ky. — Local Marshall County incident commander briefs DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas (center) and Administrator Criswell, showing a satellite image of the tornado’s path.

A man and Woman speaking outside


MAYFIELD, Ky. — Louisville Emergency Management Director E.J. Meiman and Administrator Criswell discuss response operations near the Mayfield Consumer Products factory that was destroyed by a tornado late Friday.


October 14, 20200

Every moment counts in an emergency, so getting help should be as simple as dialing 911. In Kari Hunt Dunn’s case, that phone call proved impossible — her hotel room didn’t allow guests to directly dial emergency services. As Dunn’s estranged husband attacked her in 2013, her young daughter made several attempts to call authorities for help. None went through because she didn’t first dial “9” for an outside line.

But a new federal law will make a difference for the next victim. Kari’s Law requires multi-line phone systems to have a default configuration that enables users to dial 911 directly. While the law doesn’t require mass notification, it highly recommends organizations deploy on-site notification – which automatically sends alerts to executives and on-site emergency responders – if the communications solution in place supports it.

As a result, government agencies, universities and K-12 schools need to be sure their communications solutions comply with the law. Although many legacy phone systems don’t have this functionality, today’s communications technology offers a robust and easily installed solution at a reasonable cost.

To help with your planning, here’s an overview of two technologies – on-site notification and mass notification – and how they can make your school community and government offices safer.

On-site notification

On-site notification keeps the people in your care safer by automatically notifying first responders of an emergency, getting trained assistance to the right people in less time.

Executives can notify staff and on-site police and security as soon as someone dials 911. Alerts include the name, extension number and exact location of the caller. This is especially important in large government buildings and school campuses. Simultaneous notification allows the right people to respond immediately in an appropriate and unified manner. The system’s built-in messaging even allows text communications to be sent from desktops, further enhancing a timely and coordinated response.

Currently only a recommendation, on-site notification will likely become required in the future. In fact, this technology is already available and affordable with new communications technology solutions. As legacy phone systems reach the end of their lifespans, more organizations are sure to adopt this feature.

Finally, integrating your emergency notification system with door locks removes the need to physically lock doors, providing increased protection in an instant. Staffers can initiate a lockdown or lockout from any type of phone.

Mass notification

The technology that underlies onsite notifications systems – intelligent mass notification – offers additional safety features. Most importantly, governments and schools can quickly deliver critical information to an entire community or relevant subgroup when emergencies arise. The technology is also versatile. For example, administrators can use a variety of channels and devices to send alerts.


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