— From staff reports
The tornadoes that struck Limestone County on April 27, 2011, and March 2 of this year proved that widespread disasters can strike anywhere at any time.
Following the disasters, first responders and city and county leaders developed new plans of response and purchased communications equipment and other tools to help serve a community in need.
Residents will have an opportunity Friday to learn more about those plans and see first-response tools at the third annual Be Ready Day, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Limestone County Event Center at 112 W. Pryor St. in Athens.
The event, sponsored by Limestone County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, is free to the public and a hot dog lunch will be provided at no cost. Door prizes will also be given away.
“It’s a great way to interact with your local first responders and see where your tax dollars are going,” said Daphne Ellison, communications officer with the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency. “(Residents) can talk to each individual department or agency to find out more information.”
Walgreens will also be on-site offering flu shots free of charge to anyone age 65 or older who has their Medicare and prescription cards with them. Those 64 and under are also asked to bring insurance and prescription cards, and co-pay for the vaccine will be determined according to insurance information.
Organizations expected to attend Friday’s event includes the Athens Police Department; Limestone County Sheriff’s Department; officials with city and county fire departments; American Red Cross; the Alabama Department of Public Health; the Alabama Department of Human Resources; Limestone County Extension Service; RSVP; Alabama Forestry Commission; Alabama Department of Conservation; and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Ellison said the local EMA would display its mobile command center and also provide preparedness information to residents.
“A lot of this equipment was bought through grant funding after different disasters we’ve had,” she said.