From all of us at iHeartMedia, our hearts go out to those affected by the violent tornado in Lee County, Alabama yesterday (Sunday, March 3). Below are resources and information regarding search and recovery efforts as they are on-going and we continue to learn about the full devastation.
Please send any additional information to VanRiggs@iheartmedia.com.
1) Missing Persons Reports
Do you have a family member or friend missing after the tornadoes and storms in Lee County? VisitLeeCoEMA.comto file a missing persons report.
2) Resources and Major Updates
*IF YOU HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE TORNADOES AND HAVE NEEDS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN MET WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! PLEASE CALL 211 WHICH IS A COMPONENT OF UNITED WAY AND REGISTER. 211 IS ASSISTING US WITH MATCHING YOUR NEEDS WITH THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU DURING THE RECOVERY PROCESS.
- American Behavioral:https://americanbehavioral.com/or800-925-5327
- Lee County Disaster Assistance:https://leecoema.com/disaster-assistance/
- Lee County EMA:http://leecoema.com/, Twitter:https://twitter.com/LeeCountyEOC, Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/leecoema/
- United Way of Lee County:https://www.unitedwayofleecounty.com/crisis
HOW TO DONATE/VOLUNTEER:
- Church of the Highlands: Dream Center - any supplies
- Gorree's Furiture:Accepting furniture donations: they will come and pick it up - contact the store 334-742-0607
- Greater Peace Baptist Churchwill become a distribution center starting 3/5/19 at 10am CST. They will be open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm CST and on Saturday 8am-2pm CST
- Public Safety, Fire and other affiliated volunteers(if you have not been requested by a Lee County response agency): Please call 211 to register before deploying to Lee County. Indicate your role and ability. Someone from Lee County will contact you and establish your staging area and on scene contact. Please do not self-deploy Out of State volunteers must go through your State EMA of residence for assignment to a requested mission.
- Red Cross:https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/iheartalabama-pub.html/
- Unaffiliated Volunteer Registration Process:Call 211 to register. Let 211 know what type of volunteer work you can do. Lee County will be establishing a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in the Smiths Station area. We will post the information, including the location, on our website and social media pages (www.leecoema.com , Lee County Alabama Emergency Management Agency on facebook, @leecountyeoc on twitter ) When the site location is announced, come to the registration site with your identification. You will be given a quick safety class, personal protective equipment (ppe) and assigned to assist a citizen that has registered their need with 211. Busses will deliver you to your worksite and pick you up. When you arrive back at the VRC, check out with the registration desk and return your ppe.
- First Baptist Church Opelika: Lee County Residents affected by the storms of March 3, 2019 are eligible for bags of ice. Each household can collected 2 bags of ice per day from the distribution center located at First Baptist Church Opelika. Trailer is located in parking lot at the corner of 10th St and Ave B starting at 5pm CST on March 5, 2019. Will be open every day from 9am-9pm CST
- Food Bank of East Alabama:http://foodbankofeastalabama.com/
- Turner Fence Co.: Supplies for survivors will be available for distribution at Turner Fence Co. at 15447 AL. Hwy 51, Opelika, AL on 3/5/2019 from 1pm-6pm CST and 3/6/2019 at 10am. Items available are: Non-perishable Food Cleaning supplies Blankets and Pillows Tools (Shovels, Hoes, etc) Clothing
- VCOM with Auburn University, Beauregard Clinic and Beauregard Drugs and Hornet Quick Stop will have a mobile mash unit set up to assist patients with medical needs. The unit will be set up at Hornet Quick stop next door to Beauregard Drugs and clinic - will be operational by 8am.
FEMA Mobile Registration and Intake Centers Operational Hours:
Thursday, March 7: 9am-7pm
After Thursday: 7am-7pm
- MRIC #1 / Smith Station Fire and Rescue / 50 Lee Rd 430 / Smiths Station, AL 36877
- MRIC #2 / Cannon Construction / 12422 AL Hwy 51 / Opelika, AL 36804
- MRIC #3 / Lakeside Church of God / 3295 Lee Road 54 / Opelika, AL 36804
- MRIC #4 / Sanford Middle School / 1500 Lee Rd 11 / Opelika, AL 36804
Open Shelters Lee County
- The Smith Station Volunteer Fire Department Station #1 (50 Lee Rd #430, Smiths Station, AL 36877)
- Greene Hall on Auburn University Campus (Vet School 1130 Wire Road Auburn, AL)
- Draughn Library on Auburn University Campus (231 Mell Street Auburn, AL)
- Providence Baptist Church (2807 LR 166 Beauregard, AL)
- Shelter Locator – Red Cross:https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter.html
- American Red Cross East Alabama Chapter:https://www.redcross.org/local/alabama/about-us/locations/east-alabama.html
- FBCO has rented out Laquinta Inn for displaced families
- Opelika Animal Hospital:boarding displaced pets for free
3) Road Closures
- Lee Road 165 @ LR 40
- Lee Road 166 @ LR 40
- Lee Road 721 - Closed indefinitely
- Please avoid the areas that received damage especially Lee Road 38 & Lee Road 39
4) 21 Things You Can Do While Your Living Through A Traumatic Event - Courtesy ofAmerican Behavioral
- Take immediate action to ensure your physical safety and the safety of others. If it's possible, remove yourself from the event/scene in order to avoid further traumatic exposure.
- Address your acute medical needs (e.g., If you're having difficulty breathing, experiencing chest pains or palpitations, seek immediate medical attention).
- Find a safe place that offers shelter, water, food and sanitation.
- Become aware of how the event is affecting you (i.e., your feelings, thoughts, actions and your physical and spiritual reactions).
- Know that your reactions are normal responses to an abnormal event. You are not "losing it" or "going crazy".
- Speak with your physician or healthcare provider and make him/her aware of what has happened to you.
- Be aware of how you're holding-up when there are children around you. Children will take their cues from the adults around them.
- Try to obtain information. Knowing the facts about what has happened will help you to keep functioning.
- If possible, surround yourself with family and loved ones. Realize that the event is likely affecting them, too.
- Tell your story. And, allow yourself to feel. It's okay not to be okay during a traumatic experience.
- You may experience a desire to withdraw and isolate, causing a strain on significant others. Resist the urge to shut down and retreat into your own world.
- Traumatic stress may compromise your ability to think clearly. If you find it difficult to concentrate when someone is speaking to you, focus on the specific words they are saying and work to actively listen. Slow down the conversation and try repeating what you have just heard.
- Don't make important decisions when you're feeling overwhelmed. Allow trusted family members or friends to assist you with necessary decision-making.
- If stress is causing you to react physically, use controlled breathing techniques to stabilize yourself. Take a slow deep breath by inhaling through your nose, hold your breath for 5 seconds and then exhale through your mouth. Upon exhalation, think the words "relax", "let go", or "I'm handling this". Repeat this process several times.
- Realize that repetitive thinking and sleep difficulties are normal reactions. Don't fight the sleep difficulty. Try the following: Eliminate caffeine for 4 hours prior to your bedtime, create the best sleep environment you can, consider taking a few moments before turning out the lights to write down your thoughts thus emptying your mind.
- Give yourself permission to rest, relax and engage in non-threatening activity. Read, listen to music, consider taking a warm bath, etc.
- Physical exercise may help to dissipate the stress energy that has been generated by your experience. Take a walk, ride a bike, or swim.
- Create a journal. Writing about your experience may help to expose yourself to painful thoughts and feelings and, ultimately, enable you to assimilate your experience.
- If you find that your experience is too powerful, allow yourself the advantage of professional and/or spiritual guidance, support and education.
- Try to maintain your schedule. Traumatic events will disrupt the sense of normalcy. We are all creatures of habit. By maintaining our routines, we can maintain a sense of control at a time when circumstances may lead us to feel a loss of control.
- Crises present opportunities. Cultivate a mission and purpose. Seize the energy from your experience and use it to propel you to set realistic goals, make decisions and take action.
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress © 2018
To contact American Behavioral, your Employee Assistance Program, call 800-925-5327.
5) Coping With A Traumatic Event - Courtesy ofAmerican Behavioral
- What Is a Traumatic Event?
- Most everyone has been through a stressful event in his or her life. When the event, or series of events, causes a lot of stress, it is called a traumatic event. Traumatic events are marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death. Traumatic events affect survivors, rescue workers, and the friends and relatives of victims who have been involved. They may also have an impact on people who have seen the event either firsthand or on television.
- What Are Some Common Responses?
- A person’s response to a traumatic event may vary. Responses include feelings of fear, grief, and depression. Physical and behavioral responses include nausea, dizziness, changes in appetite and sleep pattern, and withdrawal from daily activities. Responses to trauma can last for weeks to months before people start to feel normal again.
- Most people report feeling better within three months after a traumatic event. If the problems become worse or last longer than one month after the event, the person may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- What Is PTSD?
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event that last for many weeks or months after the traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD fall into three broad types: re-living, avoidance, and increased arousal.
- Symptoms of re-living include flashbacks, nightmares, and extreme emotional and physical reactions to reminders of the event. Emotional reactions can include feeling guilty, extreme fear of harm, and numbing of emotions. Physical reactions can include uncontrollable shaking, chills or heart palpitations, and tension headaches.
- Symptoms of avoidance include staying away from activities, places, thoughts, or feelings related to the trauma or feeling detached or estranged from others.
- Symptoms of increased arousal include being overly alert or easily startled, difficulty sleeping, irritability or outbursts of anger, and lack of concentration.
- Other symptoms linked with PTSD include: panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings, drug abuse, feelings of being estranged and isolated, and not being able to complete daily tasks.
- What Can You Do for Yourself?
- There are many things you can do to cope with traumatic events:
- Understand that your symptoms may be normal, especially right after the trauma.
- Keep to your usual routine.
- Take the time to resolve day-to-day conflicts, so they do not add to your stress.
- Do not shy away from situations, people, and places that remind you of the trauma.
- Find ways to relax and be kind to yourself.
- Turn to family, friends, and clergy for support and talk about your experiences and feelings with them.
- Participate in leisure and recreational activities.
- Recognize that you cannot control everything.
- Recognize the need for trained help, and call a local mental health center.
- What Can You Do for Your Child?
- Children may struggle with a traumatic event in ways very similar to adults. Knowing what you can do to help a child recover is important when helping him/her rediscover a sense of normalcy. Try these steps:
- Let your child know that it is okay to feel upset when something bad or scary happens.
- Encourage your child to express feelings and thoughts without making judgments.
- Return to daily routines.
- When Should You Contact Your Doctor or Mental Health Professional?
- About half of those with PTSD recover within three months without treatment. Sometimes symptoms do not go away on their own or they last for more than three months. This may happen because of the severity of the event, direct exposure to the traumatic event, seriousness of the threat to life, the number of times an event happened, a history of past trauma, and psychological problems before the event.
- You may need to consider seeking professional help if your symptoms affect your relationship with your family and friends, or affect your job. If you suspect that you or someone you know has PTSD, talk with a health care provider or call your local mental health clinic.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ©2018
To contact American Behavioral, your Employee Assistance Program, call 800-925-5327.