The Emergency Management Division of the Fire Department focuses on four key phases of Emergency Management including:
This section focuses on identifying strategies to reduce or eliminate the effects of future disasters. An example might be guiding residents on ways to avoid future damage to their homes and property from flooding.
The Emergency Management Division maintains a Local Emergency Operations Plan that lays a framework that will allow the City to save lives, minimize injuries, protect property and the environment, preserve functioning civil government, and maintain economic activities essential to the survival and recovery from natural and man-made disasters. This section also encourages the Public to take action to be prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
This section focuses on the coordination of all response agencies to a disaster. This includes the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) by these agencies often times coordinated through an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staffed by key leaders of the City government and the community.
Following a disaster recovery becomes a priority for our City including its residents and business industry. Coordinated through the EOC, appropriate resources are secured to assist with damage assessment and assets to assist with life “getting back to normal.”
Navigate through the Emergency Management Page to learn more about how these four categories fit into our Storm Ready Community designation, Outdoor Warning Sirens, Shelters, Community Emergency Response Team, and more!
The City of Branson is a Storm Ready Community: Be Informed * Know Where to Go!
The City of Branson has been designated a Storm Ready Community by the National Weather Service (NWS). Storm Ready is a nationwide program that helps communities better protect their citizens during severe weather such as thunderstorms, tornados, flash flooding, and winter weather.
The program encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations. Storm Ready provides emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
To obtain this certification the Fire Department’s Emergency Management Division:
- Communications and Coordination Center: Established centers available to receive NWS Information and provide local reports from the community. This is done through our Branson 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center and City’s Emergency Operations Center.
- National Weather Service Warning Reception: The City established multiple or redundant mediums to receive NWS weather warnings. This included direct communication to the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center, NOAA Weather Radios, Amateur Radio, Text Alerts, the Emergency Alert System with local media, and other commercial data services.
- Hydrometeorological Monitoring: All developing and approaching weather is monitored on radar and other hydrometeorological equipment. The City Engineering Department has a river gauge for Taneycomo Lake Levels. This gauge is located near the City Campground. Additional river gauges are monitored via a web site.
- Warning Dissemination: Weather warnings disseminated through one or more means to ensure timely notification to the public. This includes NOAA Weather Radios, BransonALERTS Weather Warning, Outdoor Warning Sirens, and live Broadcast Media.
- Community Preparedness: Public education is vital in preparing citizens to respond properly to weather threats. An educated public is more likely to take steps to receive weather warnings, recognize potentially threating weather situations and act appropriately. The City conducts and facilitates safety messages regarding severe weather at all fire safety programs, utilizes the media, and hosts a NWS storm spotter training annually.
Be Informed – Know Where to Go!
Be informed about Severe Weather watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Citizens are encouraged to stay informed as forecast are issued by the National Weather Service. Most live news broadcast share this information sometimes days in advance giving time to prepare for all forms of weather.
NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radios
The first line of notification for severe weather warnings is through the use of a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio. These can be purchased at most big box retail stores for around $30.00. They can be easily programmed for various types of watches and warnings in the county that you live in. The FIPS codes for all counties in the United States can be found on the National Weather Service web site. You are also welcome to bring your weather radio to Fire Station #1 and personnel can assist you with programming.
Taney County FIPS Code: 029 213 Stone County FIPS Code: 029 209
BransonALERTS: Communications with Citizens and Weather Warnings
BransonALERTS can automatically send a voice call, text message and e-mail giving you instant weather warnings on your home phone, cell phone, and e-mail. You pick the devices for the messages to be sent to, in what order, and for the alerts you choose to receive. Sign up on the Home Page of the Fire Department.
Smartphone Apps and Live Broadcast Media
A third way to stay informed is through the use of smartphone apps and live broadcast media. Apps are available for the National Weather Service, Weather Radio, Radar Systems and the list goes on. Additionally, live broadcast media markets of local television and radio typically disseminate weather information as soon as the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning.
Locally in Branson, the Emergency Management Division will prioritize information to Ozark Mountain Media who broadcast on 106.3 and 102.9. Often they link all of their stations together adding 100.1, 98.1, 94.9.
Outdoor Warning Sirens
The City of Branson maintains 23 Outdoor Warning Sirens across the community. These sirens are typically used for Tornado Warnings and Thunderstorms producing Life Threatening Winds greater than 70mph. These sirens are used to notify people who are Outdoors in our neighborhoods, around shopping areas, and local attractions. They may not always be hear Indoors in today’s modern and well-insulated buildings. When the Outdoor Warning Sirens are activated, please seek shelter indoors and seek information from sources noted above. Most of the sirens also have voice capability for short messages to be sent over the system.
Know Where to Go – To Seek Shelter During Severe Weather
Whether living, working, or playing in the Branson Community, always be aware of places to seek shelter. There are no FEMA Rates Shelters in the community. The basic educational model is to seek shelter “As Low and as Interior as Possible.” This means seeking shelter in basements, or the lowest level of a building, or using small interior rooms for shelter – including bathrooms, and closets. The goal is to place as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
Community Emergency Response Team for Branson, Missouri
The CERT concept dates back to 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire Department recognized that in the early stages of a disaster - earthquakes in particular - local emergency responders would be overwhelmed, and basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of community members to survive until responders or other assistance arrived.
Recognizing the universal value of this program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked in conjunction with the LAFD to make the CERT program applicable to all types of hazards and developed a CERT training program which could be used nationwide and adapted to meet local conditions when the need arose.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 remind us that disaster can strike anywhere or anytime, and that basic safety and disaster survival skills can mean the difference between life and death. CERT training empowers community members to prepare responsibly and respond appropriately when emergencies occur.
Branson’s CERT Team is comprised of dozens of local residents from various neighborhoods and large commercial business such as resort properties that have been trained in eight core areas including:
Disaster Preparedness National Incident Management System
Basic First Aid Small – Fire Suppression
Disaster Psychology Light Search & Rescue Techniques
Terrorism Awareness CERT Organization
If you would like to learn more about serving on the Branson CERT team, contact us at (417) 337-8584 or BransonEMA@bransonmo.gov.
“The Branson CERT Team is an invaluable asset for the community. They have assisted with assignments during flooding, the 2012 tornado, and large special events. These trained team members make a positive impact on our community!”
Ted Martin, Fire Chief
Emergency Management Director
The City of Branson has contracted with the communications platform Everbridge to provide BransonALERTS and BransonALERTS Weather Warning Services for the residents and businesses in the community.
BransonALERTS is a system utilized by the City to provide emergency and non-emergency notifications to the residents and businesses in the community. This system has all registered land-line based phone numbers automatically enrolled where notifications may be sent across the entire City or by geographical locations.
This system has a proven track record in our community as it has been used to inform residents about severe weather warnings, area flooding, special events requiring road closures, and utility work, for example.
BransonALERTS is available on a voluntary basis for City residents and businesses to obtain instant weather warnings for flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornados. Sign up is voluntary and must be done through our link here on the web site.
City residents and businesses may voluntarily sign up cell phones for messages to be delivered via voice calls and text messaging. E-mail addresses may also be signed up voluntarily. You may sign up for multiple ways to be notified and upon prompting, you can “Confirm to Quit” once you receive the first message so the system does not continue attempts to contact you.
There is no charge to City residents or businesses for this service. Only normal charges based on the individual’s cell phone plan for receiving calls, text messages, or e-mail apply. The system has a CALLER ID # of (417) 337-8584.
The City of Branson has no control over the content provided by Everbridge. The city assumes no responsibility for the content of the material contained at that site or for the accuracy of any information that is found there. The contents of any site or link not maintained by the city does not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the City of Branson, its officials, agents, or employees.
Facilities covered by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) are required to submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory from to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in Taney County, the Missouri Emergency Response Commission (MERC) and the Branson Fire Department annually.
TIER II Forms require basic facility identification information, employee contact information for both emergencies and non-emergencies, and information about the reportable chemicals stored and or used at the facility.
The MERC web site https://sema.dps.mo.gov/about/merc.php provides a “List of Lists” containing the substances reportable under EPCRA.
Products generally must be reported if its chemical characteristics can pose hazards to people or the environment and may fall into one or more of the following categories.
FLAMMABLE: May ignite easily at low temperatures; can explode under certain conditions.
REACTIVE: May combine with other chemicals to produce dangerous fumes; may explode when combined with air, water, or other chemicals.
CORROSIVE: Can eat through other materials, including metal; may cause tissue or skin burns.
TOXIC: Can harm or cause death to living organisms; harmful effects may be felt immediately or years after a person is exposed to the substance.
Common Facilities that are required to report are those storing more than the following quantities:
The easiest way to know when to report is if there is over 500 pounds of an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) or if a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is required to be maintained and there is over 10,000 pounds of product requiring the MSDS.
Information submitted by manufacturers on TIER II Forms is available to the public. To view the TIER II documentation contact the fire department – Emergency Management Division at (417) 337-8584.