Red Cross Media Alerts
  Test! Test! Test!
This is a test of the Red Cross Media Alert system. For the time being, we will be running regular tests on Wednesdays at 10am (Central).

Now, a reminder: Thursday (3/30) is Project Impact's Community Awareness Day.

Linn Park, from 9-3.

Go here for more information:

That is all...
  DRILL test of alert
This is just a demonstration of the alert system, in conjunction with a multi-county disaster drill.

Damage assessment teams are in the process of surveying affected homes in the tornado zone.

Shelters are being staffed, and will be on notice for opening soon.

More shelter details in an hour.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld


Thie following is JUST A DRILL:

Over night the Birmingham Area Chapter experienced heavy rains, high winds causing power outages in some areas

Pell City - an apartment fire with 10 units having major/destroyed damage due to the use of candles

Walker Co - It has been reported that a tornado was on the ground for several miles

Jefferson county has the usual flooding in Homewood and Collegeville

The preceding are preliminary reports..
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

  DRILL today

The Birmingham Area Chapter is running a multi-county two-day drill.

All alert messages related to the exercise will be marked as DRILL

  Red Cross Desktop Alerts now active
Welcome. The Emergency Alert program has been officially released. If this is your first trip to this Alerts page, then welcome.

This space is reserved for disaster information only. If you have any questions about the software, or the items on this webpage, please contact the people to the right.

Thanks again...
  Steiner UPDATE - No shelter
Here are the updated totals, after the final damage assessment:

11 total units affected.
5 of those are destroyed.
6 units have either slight damage, or are just without power.

We have seen all of the affected families and provided assistance. There will NOT be a shelter opening, as the clients have indicated they have other preferences for a place to stay.

this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  Birmingham Apartment Fire
The Red Cross is assisting residents of an apartment building that caught fire mid-day Friday.

The Steiner Avenue Apartments are located at 1305 Steiner Avenue.

We are still doing damage assessment -- but it appears that at least 8 units are a total loss, and a few others have water damage.

At this time, we are putting a shelter on stand-by as a precaution, but have not made a definite decision about opening it to those people displaced.

this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  Red Cross supporting Blount County search
FYI -- The Blount County Sheriff's Office has requested the help of the Birmingham Area Chapter in search of a missing woman.

(We don't do the actual searching -- we're preparing to serve meals and drinks on-site to the rescue folks, to keep them out in the field longer.)

Blount County S.O. ought to have more information about the who-when-where and the like.
  Oneonta fire update: FINAL
The Birmingham Area Chapter has either assisted or made contact with all 13 families affected by the Mountain Springs Apartment fire in Oneonta. Most of the casework is now complete.

Our volunteers opened a shelter last night at Oneonta First Baptist Church. The shelter closed around 8:30pm , as none of our clients showed up. Part of our follow up work includes touching base with those affected, and ensuring that they do indeed have a place to stay. At this time, we do not anticipate the need to re-open a shelter.

Thanks for helping us get out the word...
  Oneonta Shelter opens at 5pm
Here's a comprehensive update on the fire in Oneonta:

- Fire at the Mountain Springs Apartments in Oneonta (100 Mt. Springs Road)
- 13 units affected -- 13 families displaced
- As of 4:00pm, the American Red Cross had assisted 10 of the families
- At least four of the families (representing 14 individuals) are in need of shelter
- Red Cross shelter opens at 5pm (Oneonta First Baptist Church, 300 3rd Ave W)

this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  11:30 UPDATE
* 13 families is correct. Total units is also 13.
* All but one of the families is Hispanic
* We have not made a decision about opening a shelter, but are exploring the possibility. More on that later...
  UPDATE Blount (with audio)
this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  Blount Fire UPDATE

Mountain Springs Apts. in Oneonta. Fire around midnight.

10 displaced families -- all Hispanic. We have already activated our Spanish-speaking volunteers in Blount County. Casework will be out of the Oneonta office.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

  Major fire
The Birmingham Area Chapter is assisting several families burned out of their units in a Blount County apartment fire.

More as we confirm...
  Red Cross Training Saves a Life

If you want proof, just ask the staff at the Hoover Country Club.

A Vestavia Hills man collapsed on the driving range today. One of the employees at the golf shop was told about the emergency, grabbed an automated external defibrillator (AED), and went to the range. He described the victim as having great difficulty in breathing, as though he was taking his last breath. The employee kept the victim alive with a shock from the portable AED, allowing paramedics to take over.

That employee was one of 21,448 people in Central Alabama who got First Aid/CPR training from the American Red Cross last year. Country Club Manager Steve Carmichael makes the training available every year to employees who want it.

"Even people with training find themselves nervous when the time comes," said Red Cross Health and Safety Supervisor Joseph James. "Imagine how helpless you feel if you don't have the knowledge and the ability to keep someone alive."

You can find out more about Red Cross Health and Safety training at:

this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  Condo Fire - AUDIO UPDATE
this is an audio post - click to play
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
E-mail Ike if you use it on air.
  update on families

We've finished our damage assessment at the Woodside Condos on Shadow Wood in Center Point.

2 units destroyed
6 units with heavy smoke/water damage
2 units with light smoke

As of 2pm Tuesday, we have only been in contact with half of the tenants affected. We are trying to locate the others to make sure they are aware of our services, and that their basic disaster-caused needs are being met.

  Center Point response

Volunteers from the American Red Cross are assisting families affected by a multi-unit fire in Center Point. The ARCHIE (American Red Cross Helps In Emergencies) team was called out around 5 this morning to Woodside Condominiums on Center Point Parkway, between Lake Drive and 13th Ct. NE.

Early assessment shows six units that sustained either direct fire or heavy smoke damage. We have provided food and drinks to both the tenants and the firefighters, and instructed those tenants who are eligible for assistance to come by our Birmingham Service Center (2250 9th Ave N.) for casework.

  Contact note

Ike will be teaching a class at 1 this afternoon.

Please forward media inquiries to Jean Petties for the rest of the day.

  Training opportunities
Red Cross Kicks Off Ambitious Training Schedule
(Community Gets Ready for Next Hurricane Season)

Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in this community, as we fed, clothed, housed, and comforted complete strangers in need. Thousands of people offered their time and service in the relief effort, and the American Red Cross would like to tap into that goodwill to make Central Alabama a disaster-resistant community. One of our goals is to better coordinate and use “spontaneous volunteers,” but we’d like to train as many as possible in advance of the next catastrophe.

The highlight of this “Red Cross Month of Training” will come in the last weekend of March, with a two-day disaster exercise. More information to come…

The volunteers and staff of the Birmingham Area Chapter invite everyone to find out about local training opportunities over the next several weeks. We’ve ramped up an aggressive training schedule. You can look and link to the updated schedule at
An up to date feed for media interested in the activities of the Birmingham Area Chapter of the American Red Cross

Chris Osborne
Public Affairs Officer
cell 966-8795

Jean Petties
Sr. Dir., Community Relations
cell 337-1332

Lindsey Leach
Community Relations
cell 966-8793

Birmingham Area Chapter
American Red Cross
Welcome Message

Jefferson County EMA Alerts
Did you know that you can get immediate updates about Red Cross and Jefferson County EMA Alerts directly on your desktop? The Red Cross/EMA Desktop Alert System is a free service. The program installs in seconds, and contains no spyware or adware.
Download it today!
° Test! Test! Test!
° DRILL test of alert
° DRILL today
° Red Cross Desktop Alerts now active
° Steiner UPDATE - No shelter
° Birmingham Apartment Fire
° Red Cross supporting Blount County search
° Oneonta fire update: FINAL
° Oneonta Shelter opens at 5pm
° 11:30 UPDATE
° UPDATE Blount (with audio)
° Blount Fire UPDATE
° Major fire
° Red Cross Training Saves a Life
° Condo Fire - AUDIO UPDATE
° update on families
° Center Point response
° Contact note
° Training opportunities
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