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Travel Advisory Information
In February of 2007 severe winter weather conditions struck a majority of our state. The news media was advising the public of the various county level travel advisories and snow emergencies. There was a considerable amount of confusion regarding the various travel and snow emergencies due to differing terms used in each county. After the winter storm, the media requested Homeland Security to address these issues and after considerable input and feedback from EMA directors the travel advisory map was created. The travel advisory levels reflected here are in no way associated with a disaster declaration signed by county commissioners and filed with the clerk's office as outlined in Indiana Code Title 10. These travel advisory levels are strictly associated with travel. These levels can be used at anytime to advise the public of necessary travel advisory restrictions regardless of circumstance. There are 3 travel advisory levels. The terminology used and their meanings are listed below. This terminology was designed to closely mirror the terminology use by the National Weather Service. Travel advisories are covered under IC 10-14-3-5.5 of the Indiana Code.
Advisory - The lowest level of local travel advisory, means routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.
Watch - Means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a "watch" local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations is recommended. Emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
Warning - The highest level of local travel advisory, means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a "warning" local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:
(A) refrain from all travel;
(B) comply with necessary emergency measures;
(C) cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and
(D) obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.
Further restrictions may be included in a "warning" local travel advisory.
Advisory and Watch levels of local travel advisories may be issued by the Emergency Management Director or the principal executive officer of a political subdivision. In Jennings County that refers to Mayors and County Commissioners.
Warning level local travel advisories may be issued only after the principal executive officer of a political subdivision (Mayors or Commissioners) have signed a disaster declaration as per chapter 29 of the Indiana Code Title 10.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Who has the authority to change my county travel advisory level?
a. Emergency management has the ability to change the "Advisory" and "Watch" levels. County Commissioners and Mayors have the authority to change to a "Warning" level.
2. What if our county has different levels from the state is using?
a. In July 2011 the Indiana Legislature passed Senate Enrolled Act #267 which concerns IC 10-14-3-5.5 which makes it State law that all counties use the above listed terminology when issuing local travel advisories.
3. What is the difference between a "Warning" level travel advisory and a disaster declaration?
a. A local travel advisory at any level, or limiting travel to only public safety personnel only references travel conditions and is a means to convey to the public road and travel conditions that may affect the public's safety.
A disaster declaration is a document signed by county commissioners and filed with your county clerk's office and the State Department of Homeland Security indicating local resources have been or are close to being exhausted in the current emergency and outside resources from local, State, or Federal agencies may be needed to continue dealing with the current emergency. This signed document is also the first step in potential FEMA reimbursement for disaster related expenses.
4. Who enforces these levels?
a. Local law enforcement officials may enforce local travel advisories on a case by case basis.
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