IN Millcreek Summer 2017 - Page 22

Puns for Protection In April of 2015, Millcreek Township Office of Emergency Management embarked on a journey into the world of social media. Prior to this, Emergency Managers had to get messages out in traditional methods. While this was a well-used standard, it limited our ability to reach those who were not near a TV or Radio. The beginning was slow with only 700 likes within that first year on Facebook. Most of the information being shared was weather or preparedness information. It was the typical doom and gloom stuff that you would expect out of a government Facebook Page. In the fall of 2016, Staff attended a presentation at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Conference on the topic of Social Media. During this class, the Phoenixville, PA Office of Emergency Management discussed how they began to use humor to drive visibility and engagement of their social media. Upon our Emergency Manager’s return to Millcreek, OEM immediately began to test this tactic with their followers. To say that the response exceeded the department’s expectations would be an understatement. The OEM Facebook Page immediately doubled in followers and has witnessed a consistent rise since that time. Many people told OEM that they liked the refreshing humor and honesty that was displayed on the page. This not only helped increase followers but also increased engagement with residents and visitors. OEM has found that they are able to get updated, real- time information out to residents in a fast and efficient manner with limited manpower. For the major multi-vehicle accident this past winter on I-90 in West County, they reached over 860,000 people with a video that they live streamed from the scene providing vital public safety information. If you are interested in keeping in touch with your Township, learning about preparing for emergencies and having a little fun along the way, check them out! Plus, you will learn all about their love for French Toast and Funyuns and about their traffic velociraptor Karin. and @MillcreekEMA on Twitter. Are You Burning Illegally? This time of year, many residents of Millcreek are beginning to clean up their yards, keeping our community beautiful. The Bureau of Fire Prevention often receives calls inquiring about the regulations surrounding outside fires in the Township. Outside Fires MUST meet all of the following provisions: • May NOT be any larger than 3’L x3’W x3’H and in a contained pit or a commercially available container • If in a commercially available container - Must be at least 15’ away from a structure • If in a constructed pit - Must be at least 25’ away from a structure • If Gas or Charcoal Grill - Must be at least 10’ away from the structure (Not permitted on balconies or decks of multi-family dwellings without sprinkler systems) • Must be attended at all times by someone 16 years of age or older • Must use dry-seasoned wood • There are additional regulations for burning on Saturdays. Contact the Fire Marshal’s office for more info. **All outdoor and recreational fires must have a water source ready to extinguish the fire at any time** **Leaves are never permitted to be burned** The Township asks that you consider the effects of your activity on your neighbors as well as the current fire danger conditions. The Fire Marshal is permitted to order a burn ban if conditions warrant. The Fire Marshal is also authorized to issue permits for community bonfire events. For permits or further burning inquiries, please contact the Millcreek Fire Marshal at 814-833-1111 ext. 353. Residents who witness an uncontrolled outside fire or witness illegal burning are encouraged to contact 911 or the Millcreek Police at 814-833-7777. 20 Millcreek