Emergency leaders prepare for the worst

The recent tornado outbreak in Alabama was without question a historic event. But picture a disaster so widespread that it directly impacts everyone in the state — how could we be prepared?

Public health officials and others from across North and Central Alabama met Wednesday at the Alabama Power Conference Center in Clanton for just that reason.

State EMA Director Art Faulkner addresses people at a Strategic National Stockpile exercise in Clanton Wednesday.

The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is designed to quickly get medical supplies to the entire population in the event of a hurricane, flu pandemic, terrorist attack or other catastrophe similar in scale. Wednesday’s meeting was an SNS exercise to benefit public health officials, state and county EMA workers, law enforcement and other community leaders.

The exercise was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health Center for Emergency Preparedness.

“SNS would only come into play during an extremely catastrophic disaster, such as an anthrax attack or a disease outbreak like smallpox,” said DeeAnn White, SNS coordinator with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The SNS began in 1999 as the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile. As of March 2003, it was placed under joint management by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security.

The SNS is a national repository of life-sustaining medicines and medical supplies. In the event of a large-scale disaster, pods would be set up in different areas of affected communities for rapid distribution to the public.

Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum said the goal would be to supply 100 percent of the population within 48 hours.

“We understand this is an extreme scenario, but it’s our responsibility to be prepared for all of these contingencies,” Collum said.

Local emergency management agencies do not handle the supplies themselves, Collum indicated, but rather the logistics involved in delivering them to the public.

More than half of the 11 public health areas in Alabama were represented at Wednesday’s exercise, including Areas 1-6. The exercise was sponsored by the state Department of Public Health and conducted by Lee Helms & Associates.

News

Thorsby hosts professionals for Careers on Wheels Day

Business

Chilton County upperclassmen explore options at career fair

Columns

Column: Union Grove hosting clothes giveaway and fish fry

Chilton County High School

AOTW: Wyatt blisters in 200 meters for CCHS

Business

Thelma’s Kitchen comes to Clanton with first restaurant

Clanton

Liberty Christian Academy hosts fun run

Clanton

10th annual Relay For Life Pageant coming up

Clanton

Return of Farm-City to Chilton yields awards for committee

Jemison

Jemison joins countywide radio improvement measures

Jemison

Jemison High School names students of the month for April

Business

Sew Charming named top quilt shop in Alabama for second consecutive year

Clanton

Parole granted by board for Chilton offender

Business

Column: Thorsby gets new fitness gym

News

AOTW: Seeley shoves for Thorsby

Clanton

Sammons’ restoration of cars, feet aided by St. Vincent’s

News

Thorsby receives national recognition from American School Counselor Association

Clanton

YMCA opens spring soccer season in style

Clanton

Pinwheel Prevention: Butterfly Bridge hosts third annual pinwheel parade

Clanton

Chilton County experiences last total solar eclipse until 2045

Business

Heards BBQ turns the page, closes Maplesville location

Clanton

Raleigh’s Place hosting 13th Camp 1:27

Clanton

Column: New spin on Mexican food at flea market

Clanton

Giles sworn in as new Clanton City Council member

Business

Commission officially approves plan for new courthouse on Highway 145