NASA gives tips on safe Eclipse viewing

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina ( is external)) will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds, turning day into night and making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona — the sun’s outer atmosphere — one of nature’s most awesome sights. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well.


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The Rock Shares His Earthquake Preparedness Tips!

Water is on the rise in Saline County


The region received a large amount of snow recently, and with the temperatures rising quickly forcing the snow to melt rapidly, and the large amount of rainfall we have received the past week, water is  going to continue to rise and more roadways are becoming impassible, please remember to not drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.  Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. These drownings are preventable.


Visit the National Weather Service’s page for information and resources regarding flooded roadways.

Top Ten Red Cross Cold Weather Safety Tips

Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits by the middle of the week.  The American Red Cross offers ten steps people can take to stay safe during the chill.

1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.

2. Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

3. Protect your pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

4. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

5. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.

6. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

7. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

8. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

9. Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

10. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.



While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

One of the primary concerns is the winter weather’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.

The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Winter Storms Home Preparedness Checklist

To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:

  • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
    • Sufficient heating fuel, like dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan—Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions
  • Minimize travel, but keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather
  • Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water

During the Winter Storm

  • Stay indoors during the storm
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow; overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter
  • If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside
  • Keep dry, and change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat (wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly)
  • Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate)
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes
  • Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects
  • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 °F



Saline County Emergency Management Agency Staff Participates in Regional Disaster Conference

On October 15th, Saline County Emergency Management Agency staff attended the 4th annual Weathering the Storm: Regional Disaster Conference held at The Pavilion in Marion, IL.  This conference is intended to provide relevant disaster preparedness training to responders throughout the state and region.  By bringing this type of conference to Southern Illinois, it makes disaster preparedness and response training available to co-workers, partners, and neighbors who are not normally able to attend similar events farther away.


New Saline County Emergency Management Planner

I would like to take a moment and introduce myself.  My name is Wesley Flannell and I am the new Planner for the Saline County Emergency Management Agency as a replacement for Niki Trusty.  I have been involved in the emergency services field since I was 13 years old when I joined the Civil Air Patrol and started training for their air and ground emergency services missions.  I have been active in the Shawnee Composite Squadron based in Herrin, IL for 13 years and am currently serving as the squadron commander.  I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL and majored in Aeronautics and minored in Aviation Meteorology.  I am licensed in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida as well as being Nationally Certified as a Emergency Medical Technician.  I am very passionate about search and rescue and hold certifications in ground search and rescue operations, search and rescue incident command, high and low angle rescue, as well as other SAR training.  I have volunteered for the Saline County Emergency Management Agency since 2008, and I look forward to continuing to serve the residents and the community in Saline County.


Saline County Emergency Management Agency Participates in Illinois Emergency Management Agency Conference 2014

Director, Allan Ninness, and Administrative Assistant, Niki Trusty, of Saline County Emergency Management Agency were among over 1,200 attendees at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Conference 2014.

During the IEMA Conference, SCEMA staff attended various training classes, such as Commodity Flow Studies, Framework for CyberSecurity Awareness, Cyber SNAFUS & Public Safety, Social Media Panel Discussion, and A Practitioner’s Guide to Grant Writing. They also attended sessions discussing the response of the West, Texas Fertilizer Company Explosion (April 17, 2013) and the Washington, Illinois Tornado (November 17, 2013).

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National Weather Service Paducah, KY Open House: Save the Date

Take a peek inside the National Weather Service, where all of your forecasts, warnings, hydrological and climatological data originate. Tours will last approximately 20-25 minutes. Adults and kids welcome!


TIME: 900 AM TO 500 PM



August is School Preparedness Month!

It is time to review your Family Emergency and Communications Plan for the new school year. Emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere at anytime; even at schools during operating hours. Because schedules change this time of year, so do emergency plans. Make sure your children know what to do in the event of an emergency, and that you know their school’s or day care’s emergency plan, as well. 

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