Emergency Resources

AEP Outage Map

Electric outages in the area.


Traffic conditions, road closures, and more.

Weather Warning Classifications

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

This means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds. When a watch is issued, you should go about your normal activities, but keep an eye to the sky and an ear to the National Weather Service’s weather radio or local radio and television stations for further updates, notifications, and possible warnings.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

This means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information. You should move indoors to a place of safety. Schools should think about delaying the departure of buses and should take quick action to delay outdoor sports activities, etc.

Tornado Watch

Like a severe thunderstorm watch, means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to form, but it also means that a few storms may be capable of producing a tornado.

Tornado Warning

The ultimate in severe warnings, it means that a tornado is either occurring or imminent based on radar. You should take cover immediately.

Shelter in Place Guide

Certain emergency situations may prompt officials to call for a Shelter-In-Place. This might be ordered for an area of several blocks or for a couple of miles radius around an incident. Information about a Shelter-In-Place order will be relayed to the public through multiple methods, including local broadcast radio and television, weather radio, social media, the Putnam Ready app and reverse-911 phone calls.

During a Shelter-In-Place, it is important to always keep at least one source of information available. In the case of social media, pay attention to Putnam County 911 / Emergency Management accounts and ignore information from sources not in a position of authority. It is also important to follow the official instructions of local authorities.

At Home, Follow These Guidelines:

  • In advance, prepare a small Shelter-in-Place kit containing heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, and a battery-operated radio.
  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
  • If you are told there is a danger of an explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Turn off all fans, heating, and air conditioning systems.
  • Close the fireplace damper.
  • Go to an interior room without windows that are above ground level. In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
  • Bring your pets with you and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
    • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. However, do not use the phone except to report life-threatening emergencies. Unnecessary use of the phone may tie up lines needed by emergency responders. 
    • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door, windows, and any vents in the room.
    • Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
    • After an emergency when you hear the “all clear” message over the emergency alert system, you should:
      • Open doors and windows.
      • Turn on your heating/cooling system to ventilate the house.
      • Go outside.

    Putnam County Outdoor Warning Sirens

    There are 5 outdoor warning sirens in Putnam County that are activated by Putnam County 911 / Emergency Management. The sirens are owned and maintained by Putnam County Emergency Management.
    Outdoor warning sirens are designed to be heard by people outdoors and are a signal that they should seek shelter immediately. They are NOT designed to be heard inside buildings.

    Should you hear the disaster sirens at any time other than the monthly test, go indoors and turn on the radio/TV for further information. A siren tone is initiated before and after the pre-recorded or live message. One of the challenges of tone only sirens is the ability to effectively communicate a specific message to the public.

    Monthly outdoor warning sirens test on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon.

    Emergency Alert Radio & Television Stations

    Radio Stations

    WCHS (580 AM)

    WCAW (680 AM)

    WKWS (96.1 FM)

    WVAF (99.9 FM)

    WBES (95.4 FM)

    WQBE (950 AM and 97.5 FM)

    WVSR (102.7 FM)

    WSCW (1410 AM)

    WKAZ (107.3 FM)

    Television Stations

    WSAZ CH 3

    WCHS CH 8

    WVAH CH 11

    WOWK CH 13

    All local television stations will broadcast emergency information as will cable systems. Importantly, the information will NOT be broadcast on satellite-based services that do not carry local programming.

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

    The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is an essential part of America’s emergency preparedness. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 84,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on compatible cell phones and other mobile devices.

    WEA is a public safety system that allows customers who own compatible mobile devices to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.

    WEA enables government officials to target emergency alerts to specific geographic areas – lower Manhattan in New York, for example.

    The Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act established WEA in 2008, and it became operational in 2012.

    Wireless companies volunteer to participate in WEA, which is the result of a unique public/private partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the FCC, and the United States wireless industry in order to enhance public safety.

    For more information: www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.

    The Emergency Alert System (EAS)

    The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system commonly used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as weather and AMBER alerts, to affected communities. EAS Participants – radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers – deliver local alerts on a voluntary basis, but they are required to provide the capability for the President to address the public during a national emergency.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the FCC, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service (NWS) work collaboratively to maintain the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts, which are the two main components of the national public warning system and enable authorities at all levels of government to send urgent emergency information to the public.

    FEMA is responsible for any national-level activation, tests, and exercises of the EAS.

    The FCC’s role includes establishing technical standards for EAS Participants, procedures for EAS Participants to follow in the event the system is activated, and testing protocols for EAS Participants.

    Alerts are created by authorized federal, state, and local authorities, typically through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. The FCC does not create or transmit EAS alerts.

    The majority of EAS alerts originate from the National Weather Service in response to severe weather events, but an increasing number of state, local, territorial, and tribal authorities also send alerts. In addition, the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards network, the only federally-sponsored radio transmission of warning information to the public, is part of the EAS.

    For more information: www.fcc.gov/emergency-alert-system

    NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

    NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Working with the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Alert System , NWR is an “All Hazards” radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).

    Known as the “Voice of NOAA’s National Weather Service,” NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce. NWR includes more than 1000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal.

    For more information: www.weather.gov/nwr&ln_desc=NOAA+Weather+Radio

    Free Disaster Preparedness Presentations Offered by Putnam County 911 & Emergency Management

    The Putnam County 911 & Office of Emergency Management is dedicated to ensuring the residents of Putnam County are prepared for disaster through education. We offer free presentations on severe weather awareness, emergency preparedness, and emergency communications (9-1-1) to schools, scouts, civic groups, homeowner associations, and other interested groups.

    There is no cost for our presentation, and the knowledge you gain could save your life.

    For your convenience, our staff can visit your meeting location, or your group may schedule your meeting at our office in the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in Winfield. After-hour and weekend presentations are also available upon request.

    If you’re interested in having a speaker at your club or business and would like to schedule a presentation, please contact us at mwhite@putnamwv.org.


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