CERT Training

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.

A Pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily from person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in a very short time.

It is difficult to predict when the next pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. Wherever and whenever a pandemic starts, everyone around the world will be at risk of catching the virus.

The Avian (bird) influenza virus is being monitored very closely by public health officials. Currently, most of the individuals who have contracted Avian influenza caught it from a bird. There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus at this time. However, public health officials are very concerned that the Avian influenza virus will evolve into a virus capable of human to human transmission.

For more information on preparing for Pandemic Flu visit:

www.pandemicflu.gov
www.adph.org/pandemicflu

SUGGESTED SUPPLIES

Store food and drink that does not need to be kept in the
refrigerator. Buy an extra item each time you shop to build a
supply. Check each item to see that it has an expiration date
on it or else mark it with the date you bought it.

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans,
    and soups
  • Dry Beans and Rice
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter or nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Crackers
  • Juices, electrolyte drinks (also called sports drinks)
  • Bottled water – An adult needs one gallon a day.
  • Jar or canned baby food, formula, and diapers
  • Pet food
  • Other nonperishable foods such as cereal bars, snack packs
  • Food preparation and storage items – manual can opener, plastic utensils, cups and paper plates, paper towels, plastic bags, trash bags
  • Medical, health, and emergency supplies
  • Prescription medicines and equipment – keep your prescriptions and labels from the drugstore
  • Soap and water, or alcohol-based (60% minimum) hand sanitizer
  • Medicines for fever, pain, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, arthritis, coughs, sneezes, etc.
  • Thermometer; ice bag or plastic bags to hold ice to help relieve fever
  • Vitamins
  • Household cleaners – pure, unscented bleach; dish and laundry detergents; counter, sink, and toilet cleaners; mold and mildew removers
  • Flashlights, portable radios and TVs, and batteries – There are also flashlights and radios you can crank to give them power without batteries.
  • Tissues, paper towels, baby wipes, rubber gloves, face masks (N95), toilet paper, disposable diapers, and garbage bags

TO GET READY FOR IT

  • Store at least a two-week supply of water and food. Stores may run out of items or be closed because so many people may be sick, or you may be too sick to leave your home.
  • Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company if you can get an extra supply of your regular prescription drugs. Find out from your pharmacist what procedures are provided for after hours and/or emergency access to your prescription medications. In case your pharmacy is closed, you should keep either the drug container with the label or your copies of the receipts and papers that come with your medicines. Another doctor or pharmacy may be able to look at this information and know what to give you when you need to have your prescription refilled.
  • Make sure you have some extra drugstore supplies that you can buy without a prescription. These include medicines for reducing fever, pain, stomach upsets, diarrhea, cold, and coughs. Other supplies include vitamins, fluids with electrolytes such as sports drinks, sprays and ointments for cuts, thermometers, and ice bags or plastic bags to hold ice.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about who would care for them if they got sick, and what would be needed to care for them at home.
  • Ask what your workplace, church, schools, and other community groups are doing to prepare for pandemic flu. You can offer to become a volunteer with them. You can also volunteer with the Alabama Department of Public Health. Go to adph.org/volunteer or call toll-free 1-866-264-4073 to find out more information.

TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES AND GERMS AND PREVENT INFECTION

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. No tissue? Cough and sneeze into upper arm or sleeve.
  • Don’t touch your eyes or inside your nose or mouth if your hands aren’t
    clean. Germs that you pick up on places like door handles and telephones can come into your body through eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stand at least 3 feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. Flu can be spread by droplets coughed or sneezed in the air.
  • Stay at home if you are sick, and keep your family at home if they are sick.
  • Teach children and others in your family to make the above actions a daily routine.

For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site: adph.org/pandemicflu

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes located in the counties of Barbour, Chambers, Cherokee, Cleburne, DeKalb, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lee, Randolph, and Russell in the State of Alabama as result of drought conditions which began on January 1, 2008 and continuing.

For more information, click here (Word document).

To apply for disaster loans, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than August 12, 2009.

For FEMA Recover & Rebuild, click here

To apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance, click here

For FEMA Disaster Housing Portal, click here

RedCross Disaster Relief Services, click here

United-Way Disaster Recover, click here or dial 211

Report False Damage Claims

If you suspect someone is filing false damage claims, please report it. Help FEMA make sure that disaster aid goes only to those who deserve it. It is a violation of federal law to file a false claim.

Report a false damage claim:

Call 1 (800) 323-8603
Disaster Fraud Hotline

Monitor NOAA All Hazards Radio or your favorite news source for vital weather information.

  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground, away from areas subject to flooding.
  • Avoid areas already flooded and do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Do not drive around barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

Some cities and counties will issue a fine to motorists who ignore barriers!

  • Never drive through flooded roadways as road beds may be washed out under flood waters.
  • If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, if there is a threat of flooding. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Flood Watch: A flood or flash flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding or flash flooding to develop.

Flash Flood Warning: A warning is issued when rapid flooding is imminent. Flash floods quickly develop within six hours of a heavy rainfall event.

Urban/Small Stream Flood Advisory (issued as a Flood Statement): These statements are issued when minor flooding problems are expected, mostly in flood prone urban areas or near small streams that may rise quickly out of their banks. Even minor flooding can cause huge problems if proper precautions are not taken.

Flood Warning: These warnings are issued for river floods. River flooding mostly occurs with longer periods of rain which result in slower rises in flood waters and a prolonged flood event.

A comprehensive school safety plan must address the issues that are relevant to the educational environment and the community as a whole. Any hazard that is present in the community is also present in the schools themselves.

Severe weather, hazardous materials, terrorism, criminal acts, fire, medical emergencies, disease outbreaks, earthquake and technological emergencies are all events that are addressed in the local Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and should be addressed by schools at a district and individual level. The OHSEM has placed radio receivers in each school which can receive emergency broadcasts from public safety.

City and County Law Enforcement and Fire officials interact and train with our community schools on an individual basis. School Resource Officers provide a security resource for the Phenix City and Russell County Boards of Education.

Both Superintendents interact with the OHSEM any time a specific threat exists for our local community and work with local law enforcement and fire to provide a safer school environment for our communities most valuable resource, our children.

For more information on school security, contact your local Board of Education, Law Enforcement Agency or Fire Department.

http://www.nea.org/schoolsafety/index.html

http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?item=106

http://www.schoolsecurity.org

http://www.killology.com/schoolattack.htm

http://www.nasro.org/home.asp

http://www.russellcountyschools.org

http://www.pcboe.net


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