Lightning Safety Awareness Week June 22-28


When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Lightning Safety Awareness Week is  June 22-28, 2014. Learn more at or

NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A THUNDERSTORM! When you hear thunder, go inside a substantial building or a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. If you are caught outside, avoid open areas and never stand under a tall, isolated tree. Learn more at
Lightning kills over 50 people in the US each year and injures hundreds more. Don’t be one of them. When you hear thunder, immediately seek safe shelter in a substantial building or vehicle with a metal top and sides. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors… and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. Learn more at
Thunder is natures early warning sign for lightning. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike and you need to immediately need to seek safe shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with a metal top and side. Stay inside 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder. Learn more at
When you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike:

Seek shelter immediately in a substantial building but stay away from corded telephones, electrical appliances, and plumbing.
The second safest place is a vehicle with a metal roof and metal sides.
If you are caught outside, stay away from open areas and water. Never stand under a tall, isolated tree.
Lightning victims are safe to touch. If someone is unresponsive or not breathing, immediately call 9-1-1 and do CPR.

Saline County Emergency Management Agency attends West Side School Event


Saline County Emergency Management Agency joined the West Side Elementary School students on their last day of school on Monday. During the event, Director, Allan Ninness, explained to Kindergarten through Second Grade students the importance of and the role of emergency management. The children were able to explore our Mobile Operations Center to touch a tabletop tornado that was demonstrated by SCEMA. Accompanying Ninness was SCEMA Staff Members Gayland Grant, with a HAM radio display, and Niki Trusty.Saline County Emergency Management Agency would like to thank the faculty and staff of West Side School for allowing us to come in and teach the children about emergency management, as well as the students for their participation in asking great questions.


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Saline County Emergency Management Office Relocates


The Saline County Emergency Management Agency would like to announce that we have moved back to the basement of the Courthouse. The generosity that we have received from Clearwave for allowing us to stay rent-free in their office space for two years is indescribable, and we are extremely appreciative. However, our stay there is over as they are needing that space for other purposes. We would like to take this time to also thank Elder Peterson and Elder Womack who are missionaries with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for all of their help with our move, as well as EMA Staff Members Casey Boone, David Johnson, and Ryan and Niki Trusty.


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FEMA Awards $676,740 Grant to Saline County


Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish 9 flood prone structures

CHICAGO –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $676,740 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Saline County, Ill., for the acquisition and demolition of eight residential structures and one commercial structure located in the floodplain. Following demolition, these properties will be maintained as permanent open space in the community.

“The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program enables communities to implement critical mitigation measures to reduce the risk of loss of life and property,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “The acquisition and demolition of these structures permanently removes them from the floodplain and greatly reduces the financial impact on individuals and the community when future flooding occurs in this area.

“Approval of this grant is good news for residents who have been hit by flooding many times in the past,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “The grant will enable them to move to higher ground and avoid future heartache and property losses.”

HMGP provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. Through HMGP, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the $902,320 eligible project cost. The remaining 25 percent of the funds, $225,580, will be provided by Saline County.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


May 7, 2014


Media Contact:

Cassie Ringsdorf, (312) 408-4455

SCEMA participates in Harrisburg Middle School 3rd Annual Health, Wellness, & Safety Fair


Saline County Emergency Management Agency participated in the Harrisburg Middle School 3rd Annual Health, Wellness, & Safety Fair on May 2, 2014. We had some games, a weather radio displayed, emergency supply lists, and information available for the kids, and discussed the importance of being prepared for a disaster and having a plan. Special thanks goes out to Gayland W Grant and Roy & Toby Ann Sursa for donating their time to talk to the kids. Gayland set up a HAM radio station that the kids really seemed to enjoy. It was a great opportunity, and we look forward to bringing sharing more about preparedness with our local schools!

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LEPC Tabletop Exercise: HAZMAT Response 4/17/14


The Saline County Emergency Management Agency hosted a Local Emergency Planning Committee Tabletop Exercise on April 17, 2014. During this exercise, we reviewed a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) scenario. We will be using this exercise, as well as the information and ideas that we have received from various LEPC members to update and advance in our HAZMAT Disaster Plan. Saline County Emergency Management Agency appreciates the participation of the attendees from various departments.

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SCEMA to host NWS Spotter Training

Spotter training 2013

NWS Spotter Training

Monday March 24, 2014 – 6:30PM

Southeastern Illinois College – Room B-137 (Private Dining Room) 

3575 College Road, Harrisburg, IL 62946


The National Weather Service relies on trained volunteers to supplement
doppler radar information on severe storms and tornadoes. These
dedicated individuals volunteer many hours of their time to learn about
and detect severe weather. Their valuable cooperation is important in
the warning process. Weather reports from trained spotters are used
along with doppler radar data to issue warnings of tornadoes, severe
thunderstorms, and flash floods.

These classes are free of charge and are open to anyone who has an
interest in severe weather and/or public service. The objective of the
training is to provide the knowledge to identify and report key severe
weather features.

The classes are about 2 to 3 hours in length. All course materials are
provided, and a certificate of completion will be given at the end of
each class.

For more information contact:

Allan C. Ninness, Director
Saline County Emergency Management Agency

New SCEMA Web Page

LOGO Twitter Profile

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Nick Hyatt and Steven Mark Mathews we now have a new mobile friendly web presence.

Good work!

Nixle Sign-up


Old News from the Old Site.


In light of recent developments, SCEMA has updated its website to be more user and mobile friendly. The following are the last posts of the old site.

Latest News

One Year Anniversary of Galatia’s January 29, 2013 Tornado

The Village of Galatia has endured a full year since a tornado struck at night, devastating some homes and trailers. In spite of the damage, the village has nearly completely recovered. There are still some issues and work to be done, but everything considered, it has been a rather successful recovery effort. Here’s hoping for more recovery and less disaster for our county moving forward.

Later News

Another class of Western Illinois students made the trek from Macomb to Harrisburg last Friday (Oct. 18, 2013). They came in Thursday evening and stayed for one night. The Dorrisville Baptist Church was gracious enough to host the group of eight students for the night. The students came to the office with Professor Jack Rodilski around 8:00AM Friday morning for breakfast and to begin their day.

Western Illinois Students enjoying breakfast with the director.

Western Illinois Students enjoying breakfast with the director.

After breakfast, the students were treated to a presentation dealing with the Leap Day tornado. For about two hours the students listened and openly inquired about facts and issues stemming from that disaster and subsequent mitigation efforts. After which came lunch and a tour of the affected area, the office, and possible mitigation sites for hypothetical public shelters.
WIU (14)

Later News
On Wednesday September 25, SCEMA hosted an open house event at their temporary location on 402 Seright Street. This kind of event is just the first of its kind for the agency, which has announced intentions to make it either an annual or semi-annual occurrence. There were several attractions for visitors. People were treated to the chance to win a free NOAA Weather Radio via drawing. Weather radio programming was offered. Local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) leader David Johnson presented emergency preparedness advice along with his individual preparedness kit. SCEMA volunteer Gayland Grant set up his local communications operation for public viewing and illustrated its abilities for the public.

The American Red Cross was also present. They used their area to speak about ARC responses in the area over the last decade, preparedness, food safety, and volunteer registration. The American Red Cross is working on increasing its Saline County presence in lieu of the many recent disasters.

At 6:00PM, Bruce Tolley made a speech honoring ClearWave for all of the time, effort, space, and other donations the company had made on behalf of the County and the hosting agency. Mike Phalin, on behalf of ClearWave, accepted a Certificate of Appreciation from Bruce Tolley and Allan Ninness. Other notable attendees were Steve Galt, Gallatin Co. EMA, and Joe Miller, Massac Co. EMA.

Later News

The Saline County Emergency Management Agency went to Springfield between September 4th-6th. Springfield hosted the Illinois Emergency Management Conference at the Crown Plaza in Springfield and SCEMA sent four individuals to learn and represent the agency.

While at the conference, Director Allan Ninness, Casey Boone, William Karns, and Mark Mathews went to classes dedicated to numerous issues of safety and lectures about recent disasters. All in all, the four claimed it was a great experience.”
Later News

The Saline County Emergency Management Agency visited Radio Shack in Harrisburg and spent the day offering free Weather Radio programming on August 1. This is the start of a hopefully long series of such stops where local businesses and SCEMA work together to make sure that the citizenry have ample time to be prepared and given the advanced warnings necessary to prepare for disasters. If you, representing a business or local group, would like for such an arrangement to be made, please contact us at our office via phone at 252-3732 or by e-mail at

Later News
Amateur radio enthusiasts from Saline County descended upon the Harrisburg Park District on the 22nd of June this year. The gathering started with breakfast and lasted until the sun began to set. The Saline County Emergency Management Agency was on hand and represented not just by Director Allan Ninness, but also by many amateur radio users who volunteer for the agency. SCEMA utilized its Mobile Operations Center for the exercises. Curious about amateur radio and these kind of exercises? Check out the ARRL Field Day Flier .
Later News

The Saline County Emergency Management Agency hosted the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance at the temporary EOC located on Seright Street. At the urging of the long-term recovery group, STORM, the IDI sought to alleviate concerns over assumed improper insurance practices. Mark Terry, the gentleman obliging with the visit, met with citizens regarding issues with insurance coverages. Many had concerns about inappropriate actions taken by insurance companies at the expense of the citizens. He answered general questions and listened to every individual’s personal account.

If you or someone you know feels like they have an issue with improper insurance dealings, please notify call:

(866) 445-5364

or go online and visit:

Later News

Director Allan Ninness was recently interviewed to discuss the feelings about the disaster one year ago and his professional feelings regarding what emergency managers feel when disaster strikes.

Late News

The Saline County Emergency Management Agency committed two of its staff to the Harrisburg Middle School 2nd Annual Health and Wealthness Fair. Mark Mathews and Brandon Culkin presided over the SCEMA table and spread the lesson of preparedness and knowledge. Students who visited the table could help themselves to information material, games, videos, and trivia. Doing well and illustrating the information they learned earned them candy. Students competed against each other during the twenty round trivia questionnaire where everyone had a chance to be a winner. Want to try your hand at the same activities SCEMA gave them? Try the links below
Health and Wellness Fair Health and Wellness Fair