The mission of the Emergency Management Services (EMS) Division is to prepare for and coordinate actions necessary to minimize loss of life and property damage caused by natural and man-made disasters, terrorism and nuclear incidents. This division focuses on four phases of disaster management: Preparedness, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.
During Emergency Operation Center(EOC) activations full time staff and volunteers carry out a variety of assignments including but not limited to communications, storm spotting, damage assessments and record keeping. EOC staff and volunteers attend ongoing training through courses offered by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the National Weather Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency. EMS staff also play a key role in educating the community through informational talks and presentations. Disaster drills and table top exercises are conducted on a periodic basis in partnership with organizations such as IEMA , Illinois Department of Transportation, Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Jackson County Ambulance Service, and Southern Illinois University.
The Emergency Management Services Division maintains annual accreditation through review of its Emergency Operations Plan by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The Carbondale Emergency Operations Plan is the guiding document for all phases of disaster management. Carbondale is a "StormReady Community" as certified by the National Weather Service. The designation indicates that community leaders and emergency managers have taken added measures to strengthen local hazardous weather operations.
The City of Carbondale has implemented the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The NIMS provides a consistent approach for Federal, State, and local governments to work effectively together to prepare for and respond to disasters by standardizing management process, protocols, and procedures.
Outdoor warning sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. During inclement weather, sirens will not be tested. If a siren is sounded other than during a scheduled test, this alarm indicates an actual emergency. Remember that a watch means that conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop and a warning means that severe weather is occurring and you should take shelter immediately.
Each year a startling 10,000 thunderstorms and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States. Potentially deadly severe weather impacts everyone. Here's what you can do to prepare yourself and your family.
BEFORE SEVERE WEATHER STRIKES...
• Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
• Go to a safe shelter immediately!
• Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts. Listen to City of Carbondale AM1620 for notifications.
• Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
• Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
• Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor.
• Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
PROTECTING YOURSELF OUTSIDE...
• If you are in the woods, go to a safe building. Make sure it is fully enclosed with a roof and four walls. Tents, shelters, pavilions, or dugouts will not keep you safe.
• If you are unable to find a shelter, find a low-lying, open place away from trees, telephone poles, or metal objects.
• Get low to the ground, on the balls of your feet in a crouching position. The goal is t o get as low as possible, while minimizing your contact with the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them.
AFTER THE STORM PASSES...
• Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
• Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING...
• People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
• Call or have someone dial 9-1-1.
This information is brought to you by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the City of Carbondale Emergency Management Services Department. For more information on severe weather, please contact The City of Carbondale Emergency Management Services Department at 457-3245.