Click here for other contact numbers         Dispatch:  269-657-3101         Admin:  269-657-2006        Jail Information:  269-657-2171








                                                                 index sitemap





Click on an icon below
for instructions & apps
To text a tip, text message
to CRIMES (274637) with
the keyword VBCTIP from
a mobile phone.






















   Domestic Preparedness


Click on blue underlined links for more information.

Domestic Preparedness
Don't Wait. Communicate.     Domestic Preparedness    Training & Presentations  
Private Industry & Local Government   Actual Emergencies   Committees   Accomplishments
Current Grant Activities    Professional  Development Training   
Year End Report

Driving Safety, Home Safety, Flu-Pneumonia Clinics
Driving in a Disaster   Family Preparedness Guide   Fire Extinguishers  Flu-Pneumonia Clinics
Home Fire Safety   Emergency Food Planning    Emergency Supply Kit  
and Radiological Emergency
 7 Signs of Terrorism    Homeland Security Advisory System Chart   
Radiological Emergency Palisades    Exercises    Emergency Operation Plan 
2015-2016 Emergency Preparedness Booklet-Van Buren, with parts of  Berrien, Allegan Co
. - large file
(Booklet on what to do in case of an emergency at the Palisades Power Plant in Covert Twp.)

Severe Weather Awareness Packet   Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Safety Tips  
Tornado Safety Packet     Radio Stations   Skywarn Plan   Winter Storms   

Lt. Robert Kirk, Domestic Preparedness Coordinator
Domestic Preparedness: 269-657-7786


Robert Kirk

Wayne Polomcak


Michiganders Encouraged to Make an
Emergency Plan during Preparedness Month

    Throughout September, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office’s and Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness is supporting emergency preparedness initiatives and encourages Van Buren County residents to take action to prepare. Agencies nationwide are uniting under the banner, “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” to encourage everyone to create a family communications plan.
     We are asking residents to take the time and start by creating an up-to-date plan that outlines who to call, what top bring and where to go, and then share that plan with your family and friends.
     Residents are also encouraged to know the hazards that affect their communities and build an emergency supply kit.
     All households should be self-reliant for at least three days by building an emergency preparedness kit supplied with food, water and medications. During an emergency or disaster, critical services—such as electricity, water service or access to grocery stores—can be impacted and response for police, fire and rescue personnel could be significantly delayed.
     Take action by downloading the free Michigan Prepares Emergency Plan App from the App Store for iPhone or the Google Play store for Android. Created by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the app enables users to quickly create an emergency plan on their mobile device in just a few steps.
     An emergency or disaster may not happen tomorrow, but you will be ready if it does. A prepared Michigan is a resilient Michigan.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, go to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office of Domestic Preparedness  website at and also visit or

Take Small Steps Towards Emergency Preparedness by Visiting

Preparing for a Winter Storm

     Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed November 1-7, 2015 as Winter Hazards Awareness Week.

     Each year, Michiganders encounter winter hazards that include icy roads, frostbite, and over-exertion from snow removal.
     Citizens may become injured or suffer property damage due to severe winter weather that brings extreme cold, wind, heavy ice, and large amounts of snow.
     Severe weather requires Michigan drivers to take extra precautions to ensure safe traveling safely, such as weatherizing their vehicles in the late fall, which includes checking the tire treads, topping off the windshield washing solution, ensuring a proper mix of anti-freeze and water in the coolant system and having an automotive professional check the belts, hoses, tires, battery and coolant.
     Citizens can prepare for severe weather by building an emergency preparedness kit, which includes extra blankets and clothes, enough nonperishable food items and water to last three days per person, a first aid kit, medications, pet supplies, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio and extra batteries.
     We encourage all to learn more about winter safety and importance of winter emergency preparedness.

     On average, a major winter storm hits part of Michigan at least once per month between October and April. Since 1993, twenty-two persons have died as a direct result of severe winter weather. This is in addition to victims of auto accidents due to slippery roads and those who suffer heart attacks while shoveling snow.

     Know the difference between a winter storm WATCH (conditions make the storm possible) and winter storm WARNING (the storm is headed for your area).

     A blizzard WARNING means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow, and dangerous wind chill. Avoid driving and seek shelter.

2015-2016 Michigan Winter Hazards Awareness

Click here for frequently asked questions about winter weather.

Click here for information on preparing for a winter storm

For more information on winter storms, see:

Domestic Preparedness
If you hear a steady siren of 3-5 minutes, go indoors and tune into a local emergency alert system radio station:

    WCXT – FM 98.3
    WKPR – FM 103.3
    WWMT – TV Kalamazoo

These station will broadcast special numbers to call with questions or problems.

Steady Siren lasting 3-5 minutes means it is a weather emergency, nuclear power plant accident, chemical spill or other emergency.  Wavering Siren lasting 3-5 minutes indicates the need to take cover from a foreign attack.

If you are told to:
     TAKE SHELTER: Stay Indoors, close all vents, windows and doors
    •  EVACUATE: There is time for you to leave the area safely. Know what to bring, where to go and possible routes to take (which will be announced on the radio). Special Needs and Handicapped Persons would be evacuated by emergency workers to a congregate care center.

Click for more information and safety tips:

This Family Preparedness Guide has been created to help you develop an emergency plan, provide information on how to assemble a Emergency Supply Kit, and provides specific contact telephone numbers and websites you can use for emergency assistance.

Up-to-date information including tornado facts, tornado and thunderstorm safety tips, flood facts and insurance information, and National Weather Service contacts.

SKYWARN PLAN for Van Buren County.
What to do in case of Tornados and High Winds - how to report them.

What to look for and the best places to take shelter, depending on where you are located.

School-specific emergency plan information for tornado safety.

DRIVING IN A DISASTER (Safety Tips for Motorists in Emergencies).
What to do if you are in a vehicle during a flood or tornado.

Guidelines for preventing fires and preparing an emergency plan for your family.

FIRE EXTINGUISHER - Questions & Answers.
Advice from the American Red Cross on when and if to use a fire extinguisher.

WILDFIRES - Are you prepared?
How to practice wildfire safety, protect your home, and what to do if evacuation is necessary.

Safety tips for winter travel and a checklist for a winter emergency storm kit, for your vehicle.

How to prepare a 2-week food storage plan, in case of emergency.

2014 Year End Report
Activity Summary


Over 700 individuals trained in R.E.P.


Agencies involved include:

    Department of Human Services/American Red Cross

    Health Department

    Road Commission

    Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol

    911 Central Dispatch

    EOC Staff

    Posse and Reserves


    Bangor Public Schools

    Covert Public Schools

    South Haven Public Schools

    Decatur Fire Department

    Gobles Fire Department

    Hartford Fire Department

    Paw Paw Fire Department


This office participated in 4 quarterly communication drills with Palisades and the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Division. Developed a hostile action plan for Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. The Hostile Action Based Exercise took place in October requiring Palisades Nuclear Plant and several agencies from numerous county, surrounding counties, city and State of Michigan entities  to come together to execute this drill. The drill was successful and passed FEMA requirements.

This county plan update began in March of 2015 and was completed in August 2015.


The Skywarn Spotter training session for 2015 was held in March at the Almena Township Hall, Paw Paw MI

Presentations were developed and delivered to the following agencies and organizations:

            Citizen Police Academy

            ICI MS Training

            Radiological Emergency Preparedness Training

            Safe School Lock down procedures presentations and actual drills for school districts.

            Senior Citizen’s Day at the ISD

Weather awareness educational material was delivered to all schools, police and fire departments and media outlets serving the county. Schools that requested assistance with severe weather planning received it through this office.


This division participated in an several HAZMIT drills w/local businesses and continues to be involved with the 5th District Medical Coalition and exercises regularly with the medical group. The Van Buren/Cass Health Department continues to work closely with this division on issues relating to medical events locally and statewide. This division was involved in four communications drills with Palisades and State of Michigan and other county Emergency Management Divisions within Region 5. Lock Down drills and walkthroughs were done in school districts across the county.


Our Local Emergency Planning Committee reviewed the existing 54 plans. The LEPC continues work on the remaining sites that are required to have plans. To date, the LEPC has completed 51 approved plans and have completed one new plan. There are 69 Tier 2 sites in the county.  This division updated the Emergency Operations Plan for the Van Buren County Fair.


None in 2014.


Lieutenant Robert Kirk, Domestic Preparedness Coordinator, is a member of the following committees or organizations and attends all meetings on a regular basis:

            911 Board

           Local Emergency Planning Committee

           Van Buren County Fire Fighters Association

           Van Buren County Fire Chiefs Association

           Van Buren county-wide Departments of Public Works

           Van Buren County R.A.C.E.S.

         5th District Medical Response Coalition

           Michigan Emergency Managers Association

Assisted the following schools with development of tornado plans, Safe School planning and other school presentations:

     Decatur Schools

     St. Mary's School

     Lawton Schools

     Van Buren County Intermediate School District

     Assisted with South Haven Schools EOP


     2014 Homeland Security Regionalization Planning

     2013 Homeland Security Regionalization Planning


     Michigan R.E.P. Conference

     Homeland Security Conference

     REP Training

     MEMA Fall Conference

     Fusion Liaison Officer Training

     No-Spills Conference

     Pipeline Safety

     FEMA Rep Planning Course

     Bio-Terrorism Investigations

Respectfully Submitted:
Lt. Robert A. Kirk, Director ODP



Back to top

  Most Wanted

Jesus Lopez             
Juan Solis-Reyna

     Click on photo to view individual profile of Most Wanted

Van Buren County Sheriff's Office 
All Rights Reserved

drupal analytics