The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 20, 2013

Be Ready Day today

— Limestone County residents can see first-hand today how firefighters, police and other emergency workers respond in emergencies and how residents can be better prepared for disaster.

It all takes place at the fourth-annual Be Ready Day, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Limestone County Event Center at 112 W. Pryor St. in Athens. Sponsored by Limestone County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, the event is free to the public and a free lunch will be provided.

“Mainly, we want people to see what our first-responders have to offer,” said Daphne Ellison, communications officer with the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency.  “This is a great way for residents to learn more about the role their local responders play in responding to disasters and preparing for them,”

During the event, emergency workers will demonstrate equipment and speak with attendees. Among the equipment will be a triage tent, a decontamination tent and morgue trailer, a sheriff’s office helicopter and boat, various crime-scene equipment, and the EMA’s mobile-command center, among other equipment. There will be activities for children, including the Athens Fire Department “smoke house,” which simulates a house fire so children can learn how to escape from one, Ellison said. The fire department will also demonstrate decontamination of patient in cases where hazardous materials are present, she said.

“All of these volunteers will be glad to talk to residents and answer their questions,” Ellison said. “It is a very good learning experience.”

Prizes, too

There will also be giveaways, including weather radios, blankets and other prizes, and flu shots for $2 or free with Medicare.

Among the organizations expected at the event are Athens Fire and Rescue, Athens Police Department; Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, county fire departments, National Weather Service, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, which will teach gun safety to children.

LCVOAD is a humanitarian organization, made up of independent voluntary organizations, created to foster efficient, streamlined service to people affected by disaster, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort through cooperation in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation.

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