Sign Up for ALERT RUSSELL

We’ve added a new page on the website! The Storm Damage Form is only to be used to report non-emergency storm damage. This will help our situational awareness better in Russell County by getting information directly from the citizens we serve. We may not respond to all messages we receive, but we may need to contact you for more information.

Please remember to be safe while trying to send us information from the field.

What type of damage should I report?

  • Flooding
  • Lightning Damage
  • Fallen trees
  • Property Damage
  • Vehicle Damage
  • Hail size

What type of damage should I NOT report to you?

  • People trapped in cars or homes (Call 911)
  • Sparking electrical equipment (Turn off power, contact an electrician)
  • Active House Fires (Call 911)
  • Power outages (Contact your power provider. Either Tallapoosa River Elec or Alabama Power Co )
  • Anything life threatening
  • Individuals seeking disaster assistance (Click here for official site)

You may also like the following pages:

Preparedness Tips↗

Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the event, the first important decision is…

Severe Weather Tips ↗

Learn the difference between a watch and a warning, lightning safety, tornado threats, hurricanes and more!

County Storm Shelters ↗

Do you know where the shelters are located in Russell County? Russell County has three public shelters…

Just like tornados, extremely cold temperatures can cause damage to the local infrastructure and special considerations should be made.

  • Minimize travel and try to give your self more time to reach your destination to accommodate driving slower.
  • Limit your exposure to the extreme cold. Wear layers of dry, warm clothing.
  • Keep extra clothing or jackets in your vehicle if you must travel.
  • Check tire pressure, antifreeze levels, heater/defroster, battery, etc.
  • Learn how to shut off your water and protect pipes with insulation.
  • Check on the elderly, neighbors and family.
  • Don’t forget about outside pets! If possible bring them inside during the nights or make sure they can stay warm and dry.
Although rare in our area, should wintery precipitation occur, you should have a winter emergency kit.
Plan on only traveling only if needed and know how to recognize black-ice.
Keep extra water on hand should any pipes burst.
Let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet.
Ensure that should a power outage occur, you still have means of staying warm.

For more tips visit Weather.gov

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is the cause of at least 1,500 deaths a year in the United States. It is more common in older people and males. Recognizing the signs and symptoms and save someone’s life.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F . Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F.

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.

Other symptoms of hypothermia may include:

  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bright red, cold skin (in infants)

If you or someone near you is experiencing any of these symptoms, ensure they have warm, dry clothing and seek shelter in a warm environment if conditions don’t improve shorty, call 9-1-1 immediately!

Emergency preparedness is not just for professionals. In fact, we encourage everyone to take part in planning for emergencies.

If you have children or you are a child care provider, just ask yourself “In the event of an emergency, does my child know what to do?” Emergencies can have a wide range of types, from car accidents and intruders, to home fires and tornados. In almost every instance, emergencies can be presented with little to no warning. That being said, it is CRITICAL that a plan already be in place and every child (and caregiver) knows exactly what to do.

Alarmingly, only 28 percent of families with children under the age of 12 have conducted a home fire drill, according to the 2011 Liberty Mutual Insurance Fire Safety Study.  The study also found that more than a third of parents (38 percent) have never created or discussed a fire escape plan with their family.


Step 1 – Plan

Having a plan makes sure that everyone knows exactly what to do when the time comes. We recommend having a plan in place for the most common types of disasters in our area.

Have your child (or yourself) draw a map of the house showing all the windows and doors. It’s a good idea to place smoke detectors on the map as well. Now find two ways out of every room. Plan on how to escape and where to meet once outside.

Click here to download a printable escape plan!

Step 2 – Prepare

Preparing ensures you and your family have everything you need for a disaster. It is recommended to have at least 3 days of food and water. Preparing also involves making sure all exits in your home are accessible and no hazards are present. Sit down with your child and make a Family Communication Plan so they know who to contact if something happens to you or a loved one.

Click here to download a communication plan.

Step 3 – Practice

Many studies show that teaching or talking alone, don’t always deliver the same information as it would if there was a ‘hands-on’ approach. This is why is it is important to practice your plans. Not only will with help the child visualise the task at hand, this helps the adults ensure the child knows HOW to respond, where to go, how to get there. A small change in your plans after a drill or exercise , can result in a huge improvement in performance.


Other educational resources:

FEMA has an amazing collection of games, print outs and other activities for kids of all ages! Make sure you check out the STEP program as well. https://www.ready.gov/kids/be-ready-kids
A website made by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) targeted for children. Kids can access this fun and interactive website where they can watch videos, play games, draw and many other activities that teach about fire safety.
https://www.sparky.org/
If your a parent, educator or parent, this is a great resource from NFPA to teach children of all ages about fire safety and fire science. It has lesson plans, games, activities, worksheets, videos and so much more!
https://sparkyschoolhouse.org/
The Red Cross has many resources to help youth and their grown-ups be better prepared at home. They offer a Red Cross Youth club, online hazard practice activities, mobile apps, first-aid training and several other programs. https://www.redcross.org/
When a disaster strikes or a crisis breaks out, your first thoughts are often of family – especially your little ones. That’s why Save the Children launched Get Ready. Get Safe. This pioneering program helps U.S. families and communities prepare to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us in times of crisis – our children.
https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do/disaster-relief-in-america/preparedness
A public health emergency—such as a natural disaster, disease outbreak, or terrorist attack—can happen anywhere and at any time. Because children are more vulnerable than adults during disasters, CDC’s Children’s Preparedness Unit and its partners work to protect children before and during an emergency.
https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/children.html

Our hand outs:

These items are distributed by RCEMA during educational opportunities.

The Russell County EMA is hosting a new Community Emergency Response Team training class soon! The class is free and seating is limited. Help your community today by volunteering in times of need.

What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program through FEMA, educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact Russell County and trains them in basic disaster response skills. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced.

REQUIRED SESSIONS FOR CERT COURSE COMPLETION:

Thursday, October 13, 2022 6:30-9PM – Disaster Preparedness

Thursday, October 20, 2022 6:30-9PM – CERT Organization/ Disaster Medical Operations Part 1

Thursday, October 27, 2022 6:30-9PM – Disaster Medical Operations Part 2

Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:30-9PM – Disaster Psychology

Thursday, November 10 , 2022 6:30 -9PM – Fire Safety and Utility Controls

Thursday, November 17, 2022 6:30-9PM – Light Search and Rescue

Saturday, November 19, 2022 9:00AM -2:00PM -Terrorism/Review/Test/Exercise

This training is FREE to anyone 18 and older.

To sign up, or for more information, please visit this page or call our office at (334)291-5079 ext 3

(Seating is limited! If class is full, you can be added to the roster of the next class)

“Doing the Greatest Good,
for the Greatest Number of People”

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.

 Everyone can be vulnerable to heat, but some more so than others. It is important to learn the high risk group so you can recognize if you, a family member or friend falls into to one of the following categories:

  • Young children and infants are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, as their bodies are less able to adapt to heat than are adults. 
  • Older adults, particularly those with pre existing diseases, take certain medications, are living alone or with limited mobility who are exposed to extreme heat can experience multiple adverse effects.
  • People with chronic medical conditions are more likely to have a serious health problem during a heat wave than healthy people.
  • Pregnant women are also at higher risk. Extreme heat events have been associated with adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality, as well as congenital cataracts.
It is NEVER safe to leave a child, disabled person or pet locked in a car, even in the winter.

If you have a toddler in your household, please lock your cars, even in your own driveway.  Kids can play in cars or wander outside and get into a car and can die in 10 minutes!

If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1 immediately!
Image courtesy of https://noheatstroke.org/

Heat Cramps, Exhaustion, Stroke

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.

  • Symptoms: Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen and Heavy sweating.
  • First Aid: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water. 

    Seek immediate medical attention if cramps last longer than 1 hour.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Symptoms: Heavy sweating, Weakness or tiredness, cool, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, headache, fainting,
  • First Aid: Move person to a cooler environment, preferably a well air conditioned room. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths or have person sit in a cool bath. Offer sips of water. If person vomits more than once,

    Seek immediate medical attention if the person vomits, symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour

Heat Stroke

  • Symptoms: Throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, body temperature above 103°F, hot, red, dry or damp skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting, loss of consciousness.
  • First Aid: Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Delay can be fatal. Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment. Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath. Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures. Do NOT give fluids.

Russell County EMA assisted with HazMat training at Ladonia Fire to help students prepare for their final testing in Fire Fighter 1. Students were required to demonstrate the ability to decontaminant themselves in PPE after stopping a leak.

In Russell County we test the sirens weekly on Saturdays at 12:00 EST

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NWS, implements the Emergency Alert System or EAS at the federal level.  The EAS is the nation’s public warning system requiring broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide communications capability for the President to address the American public during a national emergency.   FEMA is responsible for a national-level activation of the EAS, tests, and exercises. Emergency management officials can also locally activate the Polygon Warning System.

Sirens are usually used to warn of impending natural disaster; while they are also used to warn of threats of military attacks, these rarely occur in the United States. Most often, when you hear an emergency siren, you associate it with severe weather due to its frequency of use. The “alert” sound is a steady, continuous note and some sirens rotate, causing a rising-and-falling tone as the direction of the horn changes.  In Russell County, if the sirens are not being tested, they will only sound for a tornado warning.

Outdoor warning sirens are pre-event warning devices. Sirens are designed to alert citizens who are outdoors of an imminent hazard and prompt them to seek shelter and additional information on the nature of the threat, including timing, location, and severity. 

What to do if you hear a siren outside of the normal testing time?

  • If outdoors, SEEK SHELTER IMMEDALY!
  • If indoors, get away from windows and move to an interior room.
  • Only call 911 if it is an emergency. Do not call and ask why the sirens are sounding.
  • Tune in to local news stations or weather radios.
  • Take sirens serious. They are meant to keep you safe, not to be ignored.

Is there an issue at a siren location? Please let us know by filling out the form below.


SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2022 AT 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM EST

View this event on Facebook

SMITHS STATION GOVERNMENT CAMPUS




– Helicopters
– Utility Safety
– Vehicle Extrication
– Giveaways
– Drone Flights
– Food Trucks


– Food Trucks
– Emergency Preparedness Information
– SWAT Vehicles
– Law Enforcement
– Search & Rescue

Sign up here for alerts from the National Hurricane Center

While Russell County is well inland from the coast, hurricanes can and have affected our area in past. Many residents in the bi-city area remember Hurricane Opal, which occurred in 1995. Wind gusts up to 70 mph left the population without power and created wide-spread damages due to trees and debris.

Hurricane Ivan in 2004 crushed the Alabama Gulf Coast and continued on to cause wide spread damages throughout the state, as well as Russell County. Residents were once again left without power as utility companies worked non-stop in an effort to restore it.

Flooding and Tornadoes spawned by these inland hurricanes can be a threat to our area.

Preparedness Guidelines:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Visit www.ready.gov
  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:
    • Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
    • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
    • Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
    • Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

Prepare your family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Plan to Evacuate if necessary on short notice:
    • Identify ahead of time where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend’s home in another town, a motel or public shelter.
    • If you do not have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
    • If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
    • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
    • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
  • Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

Sheltering:

  • If you are concerned about the safety of your house or mobile home during the Hurricane, stay with a friend, neighbor or a hotel.
  • Pay attention to local media reports. If Mass Care Shelters are available for the storm, the television, radio and print media will broadcast locations and instructions to the public.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Listen to the radio or television! Tornadoes often occur during a hurricane!
  • Close all interior doors – secure external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.

Sign up here for alerts from the National Hurricane Center

While Russell County is well inland from the coast, hurricanes can and have affected our area in past. Many residents in the bi-city area remember Hurricane Opal, which occurred in 1995. Wind gusts up to 70 mph left the population without power and created wide-spread damages due to trees and debris.

Hurricane Ivan in 2004 crushed the Alabama Gulf Coast and continued on to cause wide spread damages throughout the state, as well as Russell County. Residents were once again left without power as utility companies worked non-stop in an effort to restore it.

Flooding and Tornadoes spawned by these inland hurricanes can be a threat to our area.

Preparedness Guidelines:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Visit www.ready.gov
  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:
    • Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
    • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
    • Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
    • Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

Prepare your family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Plan to Evacuate if necessary on short notice:
    • Identify ahead of time where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend’s home in another town, a motel or public shelter.
    • If you do not have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
    • If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
    • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
    • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
  • Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

Sheltering:

  • If you are concerned about the safety of your house or mobile home during the Hurricane, stay with a friend, neighbor or a hotel.
  • Pay attention to local media reports. If Mass Care Shelters are available for the storm, the television, radio and print media will broadcast locations and instructions to the public.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Listen to the radio or television! Tornadoes often occur during a hurricane!
  • Close all interior doors – secure external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.