Time change Sunday opportunity to check detectors

Daylight Saving Time 2021 will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14 with all clocks set forward one hour until 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov, 7.

The Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency is reminding residents to use the time change as a reminder to conduct smoke alarm maintenance by replacing batteries and checking the operation of all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes and businesses.

Indiana saw 20 Hoosiers die from residential fires in January and February, and some of those lives could have been protected with working smoke alarms, Taking the small step of changing batteries and checking smoke alarms gives every possible chance to escape a residential fire safely.

Between 2014 and 2018, the National Fire Protection Association reported that 57% of home fire deaths occurred in properties with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that failed to operate. Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm in their residence. Ideally, smoke alarms should be located outside of each sleeping area. There should also be at least one smoke alarm on every floor.

Other smoke alarm tips to consider include:

Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.

Regular batteries should be changed at least once a year, preferably twice.

Consider smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries for longer life. These types of alarms may not require a battery change for the life of the unit.

Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old, as sensors begin to lose efficacy.

Smoke alarms are relatively inexpensive and many fire departments and related organizations — including the Madison Fire Department — maintain programs that offer free smoke alarms, especially to low-income families and individuals, senior citizens and those who need extra time to evacuate a home in danger.

Tornado drills in Indiana, Kentucky set for March 16

Statewide Tornado Drills will be held simultaneously in Indiana and Kentucky on Tuesday, March, 16.

The drills, weather pending, will take place at 10:15 a.m. with sirens and other protocols activated in both states. The National Weather Service will be using a TEST Tornado Warning to activate the Emergency Alert System. While the test code will not activate the Wireless Emergency Alert, some residents may receive alerts or push notifications through certain third party apps.

Citizen participation is encouraged by taking the opportunity to review and practice tornado safety plans, whether at home, school, or at a workplace. If inclement weather prevents conducting on March 16, the drill will be canceled.

March 15 deadline to enroll for crop risk coverage

Agricultural producers in Indiana who have not yet elected and enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 have until Monday, March 15, to do that.

Producers who have not signed a contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Center to make an appointment. Right now, 93,389 Indiana farms have enrolled, about 84.5% of expected participation.

“In times like these, from winter storms to a pandemic, we’re reminded of the importance of managing risk,” said Susan Houston, acting state executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Indiana. “The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provide critical support to farmers to protect them from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. If you have not enrolled or made elections, please do so by the March 15 deadline.”

Producers who enrolled for the 2019 crop year received more than $5 billion in payments last fall. If an ARC or PLC payment triggers for a particular crop for the 2021 crop year and there is no signed 2021 contract on file, then the producer is ineligible for that program payment.

Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium- and short-grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.