The City of Portage Emergency Management personnel work cooperatively with the Kalamazoo County Government. The city of Portage maintains an Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) that is activated by City Administration to manage the local response to a major weather event or other local disaster. The ECC is used as the backup Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Kalamazoo County as part of a cooperative effort.
To ensure operational readiness, city staff participate in several tabletop, functional and full-scale drills annually. First responders from the Portage Department of Public Safety also participate in drills sponsored by the Kalamazoo County Office of Emergency Management.
The City of Portage maintains a system of outdoor warning sirens, which provide warning notification in the event of a weather emergency. It is important to note that an outdoor warning system is designed to warn citizens while they are outdoors. The warning sirens are not designed to wake residents from sleep or be heard over other home activities.
Local media outlets such as television and radio broadcast severe weather watches and warnings. During periods of potential severe weather, residents are advised to listen to television or radio for possible watches and warnings. Should severe weather develop, a weather alert radio will alert and wake a resident from sleep during the overnight hours, adding additional minutes of warning. The radios are available at many home improvement and retail outlets.
The City of Portage is one of less than ten Michigan communities that has received certification from the National Weather Service in 2003 as a "StormReady" Community. To be recognized as StormReady, an agency must have means of receiving warning notification, current weather status monitoring and warning dissemination capabilities and providing public education activities.
To assist you in better understanding and preparing for the potential threats we face in Portage, we have included additional information on specific topics as well as links to other emergency management and weather sites on the Internet.