The Responder - Anniston Star

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Read an emergency management preparedness guide provided by the local EMA.

Transcript of The Responder - Anniston Star

  • Emergency Management Preparedness For All HazardsSt. Clair Times


    ( Is having the ability to respond before, during and after a serious emergency.)

    Emergency Management Preparedness For All Hazards

    RespondertheThe Anniston StarSunday, April 24, 2011

    provided by: Calhoun County EMA

    The Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency serves citizens in all communities in Calhoun County. The EMA is here to coordinate efforts to prepare for and respond to a disaster, either natural or man-made. The EMA works with state and federal agencies to assure that our citizens are fully prepared, protected, and assisted before, during, and after a disaster. Our employees work with many agencies and groups to coordinate preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts to protect our citizens in the event the worst happens. In addition to handling disasters and emergencies, the Calhoun County EMA works to assist first responders and other agencies in obtaining resources and training to help make their jobs safer and easier.

    For over twenty years Calhoun County has been a part of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP). CSEPP was created as a unique partnership between the United States Army and FEMA. It was setup to develop ways to prepare communities surrounding a chemical stockpile facility, communities like Calhoun County, for emergencies that could result from an accident during the destruction of the chemical stockpile. It is because of this partnership combined with the ongoing cooperation of local emergency managers, first responders, and volunteers that Calhoun County has been able to prepare effectively for the worst.

    In Calhoun County, CSEPP has provided the means for the Calhoun County EMA to have increased staffing and a new facility which includes a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center located at 507 Francis Street in Jacksonville. The EOC is staffed by knowledgeable and well-trained employees that have the ability to assess the needs of the community before disaster strikes, to communicate with the community during a disaster, and to respond to the needs of the community after a disaster. The EOC is where elected officials, first responders, and volunteer agencies operate from during a disaster. CSEPP also provided funding for 108 outdoor warning sirens to alert citizens during an emergency as well as provided over 70,000 free NOAA weather radios to serve as emergency alert radios in homes, schools, and businesses in the county. The thousands of hours of training offered by CSEPP have made citizens and first responders better able to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The 800 Megahertz radio system funded by CSEPP provides first responders with a more reliable radio system to use every day and in emergencies.

    Thanks to the efforts of the many individuals involved in the CSEPP program, the level of preparedness in Calhoun County has greatly increased. Citizens are now better protected, thanks to the outdoor warning sirens stationed throughout the county and the free emergency alert radios distributed in the county. First Responders are able to communicate better and faster thanks to the 800 Megahertz radio system. Families, schools, and businesses know now that a Disaster Supply Kit and an Emergency Plan are essential. Although the end of CSEPP quickly approaches, officials expect the destruction of the stockpile at the Anniston Army Depot to be complete by Summer 2011, CSEPP will still be here to support our community until the very end. The legacy of preparedness, training, and cooperation left by CSEPP will be an asset to our county for years to come. Even though the CSEP Program is ending soon, eliminating the threat from the chemical weapons stockpile, many hazards still remain in our county. The Calhoun County EMA will still be here constantly working to make sure are citizens are protected and prepared for all the threats our community faces.

    If you are interested in having someone from the EMA speak to your school, church, business, or organization about disaster preparedness, please contact the Calhoun County EMA at (256) 435-0540.

    Calhoun County EMAWere Here For You

    Contact Calhoun County EMA at (256) 435-0540 or log on to

    Paid for by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program


    Heres how you can link up to the Calhoun County EMA:

    On Facebook at Twitter at more information on Nixle, visit

    With the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile at the Anniston Army Depot nearing completion, personal protective equipment provided as part of the CSEPP program is no longer needed. This equipment includes: Tone Alert Radios which are light gray radios activated during tornado warnings and monthly tests, protective hoods which were provided only to residents in the Pink Zones, and portable room air cleaners. The Tone Alert Radio units are no longer activated for severe weather or monthly tests; they have been replaced by the new NOAA weather radios. You may take the items you wish to dispose of to the Calhoun County Recycling Center. The Recycling Center is located behind the Calhoun County Civil Defense Building at 4657 Bynum- Leatherwood Road (near the intersection of Bynum-Leatherwood Road and Highway 431). Please place your equipment in the red container labeled CSEPP. If you have any questions, please contact the Calhoun County EMA at (256) 435-0540.

    Protective Equipment Recycling

    Happening Now

  • Contact Calhoun County EMA at (256) 435-0540 or log on to

    Planning and preparation are the key to being ready for a disaster. One of the most important things you can do to be ready is to create an Emergency Plan for your family. Know-ing what to do in a disaster is your best protection and your responsibility. You can create a Family Emergency Plan by following these simple steps:

    Meet with your family and talk about the hazards that could impact your community and how you will respond.

    Everyone should know what to do in case your family is separated before, during, or after a disaster.

    Discussing what to do ahead of time will help reduce fear and anxiety if a disaster happens.

    Make sure you take into account family members with special needs, such as senior or infants. Dont forget to make plans for taking care of your pets either.

    Develop an emergency communication plan. Include all family members cell phone numbers and work numbers.

    In case family members are separated from one another during disasters, have a plan for getting back together. Separation is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school.

    Identify meeting places in your neighborhood (in case of a house fire) and meeting places outside your neighbor-hood in case you have to evacuate.

    Write down the address and phone number of all the places where your family spends the most time (work, school, church, etc). Schools, daycares, and workplaces should all have site specific emergency plans that your family should know about.

    Select at out-of-town relative or friend to be the family contact person. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long distance call than a local call. Family members should call the contact and tell him or her where they are. Every-one must know the contacts name, address, and phone number.

    Teach children to call your family contact in case they are separated from the family in an emergency. Help them memorize the telephone number, or write it down on a card that they can keep with them.

    Know what to do if authorities instruct you to shelter-in-place or evacuate.

    Keep a copy of your Emergency Plan with your Disaster Supply Kit and an extra copy in a safe place. Every member of the family should carry a copy of the important phone numbers and meeting places with them at all times.

    Practice and maintain your plan by reviewing and updating it every six months or with any major changes in your family. For help in creating your Family Emergency Plan, you can contact the Calhoun County EMA at (256) 435-0540.

    The Importance Of A Family Emergency Plan

    Emergency Management Preparedness For All Hazards

    Responderthe The Anniston Star Page 2Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Although the CSEPP program is drawing to a close in Calhoun County, that doesnt mean disasters cant happen. They can come in many forms and at any time, so your need for a disaster supply kit is just as important. A disaster supply kit, which includes the items below as well as other emergency supplies, can be invaluable to you and your family in the days following a disaster. Personalize your kits with the things you need daily. In a sturdy, portable container, have the following on hand: A flashlight and battery-operated radio (preferably an Emergency Alert NOAA Weather Alert Radio) with fresh batteries. A three-day supply or more of drinking water, which consists of one gallon per person per day. Pet food and portable cages for family pets. Bedding, wool blankets or good sleeping bags work well. Comfort items such as books, crayons, toys and hard candy. A three-day supply or more of non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods and a manual can opener. Clothing for each family member. Rotate the clothing with the seasons, and as children grow in sizes. Hygiene products such as soap, feminine supplies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, diapers, etc. A Class ABC fire extinguisher is designed to be used safely on any type of fire,