Daily Operational Hours
Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
700 Poplar Street
Macon, GA 31201
478-751-7500 (24 Hour)
The Emergency Management Agency seeks to promote safer, less vulnerable Macon-Bibb County with the capacity to overcome hazards and disasters.
The Emergency Management Agency protects Macon-Bibb County by leading and coordinating activities necessary to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters.
The Macon-Bibb County Approach
Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency has been an integral part of our community since 1961. This agency implements the Local Emergency Operation Plan to lead and coordinate the emergency response for all county departments and community partners. Our EMA Staff’s personal qualifications are based on federal, state and industry mandated training requirements. We are committed to taking a proactive approach in preparing our community for emergencies and disasters.
Emergency Management Mission Areas
Prevention comprises the capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. It is focused on ensuring we are optimally prepared in preventing a terrorist attack.
Protection provides the capabilities necessary to secure our community against natural disasters, manmade events or acts of terrorism.
Mitigation activities are undertaken to prevent a disaster, reduce the chances of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.
Response actions are taken to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after a disaster has occurred.
Recovery includes actions taken to return to a normal, or even safer, situation following a disaster or emergency.
Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock and crops. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. There are three basic groups of biological agents that could likely be used as weapons: bacteria, viruses and toxins. Biological agents can be dispersed by spraying them into the air, person-to-person contact, infecting animals that carry the disease to humans and by contaminating food and water. A biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious. In most cases local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention. The public would be alerted through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, or some other signal used in your community, such as a telephone call or a home visit from an emergency response worker.
Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants. While potentially lethal, chemical agents are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations because they dissipate rapidly outdoors and are difficult to produce. A chemical attack could come without warning. Signs of a chemical release include people having difficulty breathing, eye irritation, loss of coordination, nausea, or burning in the nose, throat and lungs. The presence of many dead insects or birds may indicate a chemical agent release.
Cybersecurity involves preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber incidents that can have wide ranging effects on the individual, organizations, the community and at the national level. You can increase your chances of avoiding cyber risks by setting up the proper controls. The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property before a cyber incident occurs.
An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time. Initial mild shaking may strengthen and become extremely violent within seconds. Additional earthquakes, called aftershocks, may follow the initial earthquake. Most are smaller than the initial earthquake but larger magnitude aftershocks also occur. Earthquakes may cause household items to become dangerous projectiles; cause buildings to move off foundations or collapse, damage utilities, roads and structures such as bridges and dams, or cause fires and explosions. They may also trigger landslides, avalanches, and tsunamis. Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and occur without warning, although they usually last less than one minute. Aftershocks following the initial earthquake may occur for hours, days, or even months.
Floods can be slow or fast rising, but generally develop over a period of days. Many communities experience some kind of flooding after spring rains or heavy thunderstorms. Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. They occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes. Communities particularly at risk are those located in low-lying areas, near water, or downstream from a dam. Georgia has more than 4,600 dams, the majority of which are privately owned. Dam failures can occur with little warning. When a dam fails, the damage can be catastrophic.
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world. Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific. A significant per cent of fatalities occur outside of landfall counties with causes due to inland flooding. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.
The term “space weather” refers to the variable conditions on the sun and in space that can influence the performance of technology we use on Earth. Extreme space weather could potentially cause damage to critical infrastructure – especially the electric grid – highlighting the importance of being prepared. The sun is the main source of space weather. Sudden bursts of plasma and magnetic field structures from the sun’s atmosphere called coronal mass ejections (CME) together with sudden bursts of radiation, or solar flares, all cause space weather effects here on Earth. Space weather can produce electromagnetic fields that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, and even causing wide-spread blackouts. Severe space weather also produces solar energetic particles, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning, intelligence gathering, and weather forecasting.
Thunderstorms and Lightning
All thunderstorms are dangerous because they can produce strong winds, lightning, tornadoes, hail and flash flooding. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Georgia’s greatest threats from severe thunderstorms are damaging straight-line winds and large hail. Straight-line winds can reach speeds in excess of 58 mph and produce damage similar to a tornado. These winds occur about 75 days per year in Georgia and are most common in the spring and summer months, peaking in July. Since 2000, lightning has been the #2 weather-related killer in Georgia, behind tornadoes. Lightning on average kills one to two people in Georgia each year, and injures an average of 12 people. Protect yourself and your family by being prepared today.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms and they are Georgia’s No. 1 weather-related killer. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightening and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Related thunderstorms can cause heavy rains, flash flooding, and hail. They can develop without warning and oftentimes can be hidden by trees or rain. Be prepared to act quickly. Planning and practicing specifically how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, making advance preparation vitally important.
Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. For more information, download the How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, which provides the basics of wildfires, explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger. A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. As building development expands into these areas, homes and businesses may be situated in or near areas susceptible to wildfires. This is called the wildland urban interface.
Write an Emergency Plan
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities.
Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
Different ages of members within your household
Responsibilities for assisting others
Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
Cultural and religious considerations
Pets or service animals
Households with school-aged children
Below are links to planning templates that you can use for home or work.
Build an Emergency Kit
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A emergency kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire emergency supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
Below is a link to an Emergency Supplies Kit Checklist that you can use for your home or office
During a dangerous situation in Macon-Bibb County EMA will use MBCAlert to notify you. When a notification about a potential emergency or disaster situation is issued, a registered participant will receive a message on all their registered cell phones, land lines or email addresses. You can register up to four phone numbers, two email addresses and five physical locations. Free mobile apps also are available for cellphones and tablets that will send push alert messages through the Everbridge App, which is available in the App Store and Google Play.
To register for MBCAlert, go to the MBCAlert Registration Link and follow the registration steps or call EMA at 478-832-6300
NOAA Weather Radio
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System. These radio can be purchased from most retail stores, sporting goods or outdoor outfitters and from online retailers.
Macon-Bibb EMA Volunteer Group
Macon-Bibb Emergency Management Agency Volunteer Group, 501c3 organization that assists the county in times of disaster or other civil events.
Macon-Bibb Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Group
Our mission is to offer communications support in times of disaster to all public safety organizations in Macon-Bibb County. We centrally operate out of the Emergency Operations Center in Macon-Bibb County. However, we are capable of expanding out to all areas in the county and outside the county as needed.
Spencer Hawkins, CEM, GA-CEM – Director
Spencer Hawkins has spent 18 years as a professional emergency manager working in all levels of government, and the private sector. In December of 2015, he was appointed as Director of Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency. Prior to Macon-Bibb, he was Vice President of Crisis Management for PNC Bank. Spencer spent four and half years working in Washington, DC for the Army and Navy developing emergency management policies. He spent 10 years in central Florida with Orange County Emergency Management, Florida Department of Health Emergency Operations, and City of Orlando Emergency Management. Throughout his career, Spencer has served with the Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System.
Spencer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s in Criminal Justice, both from the University of Central Florida. He is a Certified Emergency Manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the State of Georgia, and a Master Exercise Practitioner with FEMA.
Robert McCord, GA-ACEM – Deputy Director
Robert McCord has over 15 years of experience in the Emergency Management field. He has worked at Macon-Bibb County EMA for over five and a half years on staff and another three as an EMA volunteer. Robert served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Specialist where he deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After serving in the Marines he worked for the State of Georgia’s Department of Public Health and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. Currently, Robert teaches courses in emergency management at Central Georgia Technical College as an Adjunct Instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Human Services from Middle Georgia State University and is completing his Master of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University. Robert is a certified All-Hazards Communications Unit Leader (COML), a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Instructor, and a State of Georgia Advanced Certified Emergency Manager (GA-ACEM).
Moranda Guy, GA-CEM – Administrative Officer
Moranda Guy has 17 years’ experience in emergency communication dispatch in public safety in law enforcement, fire, and ems for Macon-Bibb County and surrounding areas. She is certified by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center as a Basic Communications Offer and certification with the State of Georgia as a Certified Emergency Manager (GA-CEM). Moranda has been employed with Macon-Bibb EMA since 2013 as the administrative assistant and recently as the Administrative Officer overseeing annual operating budget and grant projects. Moranda is also the coordinator of the CERT Program for EMA. She has her diploma in Business & Office Technology and Accounting from Central GA Technical College and is pursuing her bachelor degree in Business Administration. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and working in her church ministries as a Youth Director and Music ministry.
David J. Canady – EMA Volunteer Group President
David has been active with the EMA Volunteer group for the past six years. He holds several certifications from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center including Georgia Certified Emergency Manager as well as Advanced Certified Emergency Manager, All-Hazard Communications Unit Leader (COML), All Hazard Communications Technician (COMT), and Georgia State Emergency Medical Responder. David is an Amateur Radio Operator with a General Class License and an American Heart Association First Aid CPR Instructor. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he held positions such as Law Enforcement Specialist and Narcotics Detector Dog handler during the Vietnam Era. He is a former member of the Operation Babylift Deployment from 1973-75. While in the US Military, David was successful in obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice through the Community College of the Air Force. David now spends most days retired while continuing his volunteer efforts with public safety.
Matt Butterworth – Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Emergency Coordinator
Matt works collectively with EMA and Public Service agencies throughout Middle Georgia and also served as President of the Macon Amateur Radio Club for 4 years. He is a certified Heavy Truck Technician and Service/Body Shop Manager and has been with his employer for 31 years. Matt is married with 6 children. He became a ham radio operator in June 2005 but has been involved with radio communications all of his life. In the early 70’s , Matt was the youngest CB radio operator in the county with his own station at the age of 9 with FCC license KKY1035. He fell in love with the ability to have conversations each night about a wide range of topics over radio. He was always welcomed to join the groups despite young age. Matt now enjoys fostering young people as they become operators so they can learn and enjoy the hobby as much as he does. Above the hobby, ham radio provides a much needed service for critical communications and he is proud to serve anytime called upon. In his personal life, God is first, all else he takes care of.
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