Fire Service Operations for the Southeastern Tornados - April 2011   [open pdf - 2MB]

"On April 27, 2011, the southeastern United States experienced a devastating series of tornados starting in Mississippi, hitting Alabama and Georgia very hard, and trailing off into Tennessee. The dollar loss has been roughly tallied at $6 billion in insured losses and a total of over $10 billion for all losses. An estimated 336 lives were lost in the region's tornados and related events, with 239 of those in Alabama. At least 10,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed and dozens of public facilities were rendered inoperative. Many areas that were isolated by road closures and power outages extended over 2 weeks in some rural areas. At least five tornados were rated at EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale), and, if laid end to end, the tornado tracks in this region would stretch across the country! A series of meetings was held in the summer of 2011 to look at fire department and emergency medical services (EMS) organization activities in Alabama and Georgia during the tornados. Over 50 representatives of impacted departments attended and each had an opportunity to respond to specific questions as well as provide a free range of their own inputs. This report condenses those meetings and inputs and provides an insight into the routines and needs of local fire and EMS agencies in disasters."

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