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Drought Emergency

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MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday signed a Drought Emergency Declaration due to extremely dry conditions.  The declaration, often referred to as a “No Burn Order”, prohibits all outdoor burning for 46 counties in north and central Alabama.  The order is effective as of 3:00pm, Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

“The current drought condition in our state is posing a serious threat for wildfires,” Governor Bentley said.  “The continued lack of rain combined with low relative humidity and strong winds put us at a very high risk.  This declaration is mean to prevent unnecessary burning, reducing the chance of avoidable fires.”

The No Burn Order affects the following counties which have been upgraded from the previously-issued Fire Alert:  Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.

Additionally, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has issued a Fire Alert for the remaining counties in South Alabama, effective immediately.

“We need rain desperately.  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an increase, not only in the number of wildfires, but also in the size of these fires.  Several of them have been very large wildfires,” State Forester Gary Cole said.  “With this extremely dry weather, conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also threatening and destroying homes.  These burning restrictions are a necessary result of the ongoing lack of precipitation, the recent increased number of fires, high probability of fuel ignition, as well as the reduced availability of firefighting manpower and suppression resources across the state.”

Over the last seven days, 341 wildfires have burned over 4,100 acres in Alabama, according to AFC fire officials.

The Drought Emergency Declaration order will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires.  To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement.  For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission’s website.

For drought updates, click here.

For information regarding Emergency Farm Loans, visit USDA .

 

 

 

 

Disaster Supply Kit

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Putting together a disaster supply kit requires very little time or money but can be invaluable to you in the days following a disaster. Your kit should be in a sturdy, waterproof container and include the things your family will need (don’t forget the pets) for the first three days after a disaster. You don’t have to create your kit in one day; take time each week to place a few of the items you need in your kit. Some suggested items for your kit include:

• Water, 1 gallon per person per day
• Non perishable food and a manual can opener
• Paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels
• Battery powered radio and/or NOAA weather radio with extra batteries
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, etc.
• A complete change of clothing for each family member including a pair of sturdy shoes
• Prescription medications and extra glasses/contacts
• Specialty items for infants, the elderly or anyone in your home with special needs
• Fire extinguisher
• First aid kit
• Tools, including a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Money, both cash and change
• Copies of important family documents, insurance policies, etc.
• Comfort items such as books, puzzles, and toys

*From Calhoun County EMA