ESDA Department

ESDA Coordinator/Director
Eugene Kramer

Freeburg Emergency Services & Disaster Agency, formerly called Civil Defense, and is also known as the Freeburg Emergency Management Agency.  The Coordinator of the Freeburg ESDA/EMA is Eugene Kramer and he has been the Director since his appointment in the summer of 1973.  Beginning in 1974, the Coordinator began the preparation for hazard mitigation against severe weather emergencies, namely tornadoes.  in 1974 the Freeburg CD Community Tornado Shelter Program began whereby residents of the Village of Freeburg could seek underground shelter if they did not have such provisions in their homes.  In 1975 the Freeburg Civil Defense obtained and had installed Outdoor Warning Sirens with Defense Civil Preparedness Agency matching funds.  The sirens remain in excellent working condition to date and have been upgraded from their former "telephone" circuit activation to "radio control" activation from the Freeburg ESDA office. 

In 1976, the name changed from Civil Defense to Emergency Service and Disaster Agency was made in Illinois.  Then, in 1995, the name was changed to the Emergency Management Agency.  At present, one of the many responsibilities of the Freeburg ESDA/EMA is to coordinate the emergency responses of Police, Fire, Utilities and Ambulance service in the event of a major emergency in the Village of Freeburg.

In the Severe Weather portion of the Freeburg ESDA/EMA Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), many unique benefits and opportunities are provided to the citizens of Freeburg.

In the event of a Tornado Warning, the Freeburg ESDA/EMA Tornado Shelter will be opened and operated by Freeburg ESDA/EMA "shelter managers."  These are trained volunteers within the organization.  The shelter manager has radio communications with the Freeburg ESDA/EMA office where radio communications exist with the National Weather Service and the County ESDA. 


  • St. Paul's United Church of Christ - 7 N. Belleville Street, in the basement area-educational classroom section
  • St. Paul's shelter is available 24 hours a day whenever there is a tornado warning issued for our area of St. Clair County and/or whenever there is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for our area of St. Clair County

ESDA currently has an opening for volunteer shelter managers.  Anyone interested in becoming a shelter manager can call the ESDA office at 539-9996 to request an application or contact Gene Kramer at 618/539-3764. 

FEMA Offers Tips to Prepare for Extreme Heat:  As temperatures increase, it is important to prepare for the extreme heat that the summer can bring.  Extreme heat is defined as a period of excessively hot weather with higher than average temperatures for a region, combined with high humidity.  Extreme heat events can happen anywhere in the United States.  The following tips below can help you beat the heat:

1.  Stay indoors and use air conditioning, if possible.
2.  During extreme heat events, choose a cloth face covering that has breathable fabric, such as cotton, instead of polyester.
3.  Avoid strenuous and high-energy activities.
4.  If you are outside, find shade.  Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
5.  Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
6.  Check on family members and neighbors by phone or text to maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
7.  Know the signs of heat-related illness like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
8.  Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.  If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
9.  Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees.  Using fans could increase the risk of heat-related illness.  Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.  


For tips on winterizing your home, please click on the Winterize document.

Be prepared for winter when it hits!  Click on the 2021 Winter Weather Preparedness Week document


FEMA Bulletins to Stay Safe

FEMA has provided several informative bulletins on how to stay safe during tornadoes, earthquakes, power outages, extreme heat, thunderstorms/lightning/hail and winter storms.  Please click on the link to access them.

Severe Weather Watch or Warning

This chart explains the difference between a severe weather watch and a severe weather warning.  The National Weather Service has added threat levels to thunderstorms.  A general thunderstorm has the potential for heavy rain bursts with winds up to 45 mph and pea-sized hail.  A severe thunderstorm has wind that produces 58 mph wind gusts or higher and 1" diameter or larger hail.  A considerable damage thunderstorm is a severe thunderstorm warning that indicates a thunderstorm producing a minimum of 70 mph winds and/or 1.75" minimum diameter hail.  A destructive severe thunderstorm warning is a thunderstorm with the potential to produce 2.75" diameter hail and/or 80 mph wind gusts.