County EMA provides emergency information

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2002

In light of recent severe weather, the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has concluded that making the public aware of which agency to contact for which type of emergency might be valuable to county residents.

According to Shelby County EMA Director Don Greene, neither the county EMA nor the local Red Cross maintain a list of &uot;Safe Havens,&uot; shelters open before and during emergencies such as severe weather.

Greene said his office received numerous calls the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 10 as severe storms crossed the county and much of the state.

He said while there may be temporary shelters for evacuation after an event, they are not open during an event.

Greene suggested those in need of shelter during severe weather or other emergencies should arrange in advance to seek shelter with a neighbor or plan ahead for a safe place to go.

To help take the burden off

the Shelby County Emergency Agency along with Shelby County 9-1-1 and to help save time and frustration among county residents, Greene also provided a list of correct agencies to contact during emergencies. However, he stressed that persons calling these agencies should be prepared to provide information as to the type of problem and to tell in plain language what is happening.

Reasons to contact 911:

Anytime you need an immediate response from police, fire, medical and or ambulance such as car wreck, someone is choking on their food, fire of any type ( house woods or other building), if you see a crime, dangerous situation such as gas leak or a downed power line, someone is drowning, someone is hurt or bleeding or is having trouble breathing, or tornado or other severe weather damages your home.

Reasons to contact EMA:

Anytime you need some special service such as downed tree, sheltering (Red Cross Shelter), food, power lines down, structure damage, road closure, power outages, iced over roads, flooding or wind damage.

Green also advised, &uot;When you hear a siren going off within Shelby County, turn to your local TV station to find out what is happening in your area.&uot; And he said, &uot;When told by the media to go to you ‘safe place’ that means go to the lowest floor or a center room in your home or to a friend or relative’s home that is more secure.&uot;

Green said, &uot;Activate your safety plan before an emergency arises. Know you safe place before hand, and don’t wait until the last minute to go there.&uot;

According to Greene, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency activates the sirens for Jefferson County, including those areas of Shelby County within its jurisdiction.

Green said that on Nov. 10 the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department reported one downed tree in the county in the area of Highway 71. The National Weather Service located at the Shelby County Airport reported 1.31 inches of rain fell there and that Montevallo experienced dime-sized hale