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Department of Homeland Security Shield / FEMA

Center for
Domestic Preparedness

Main Content

Travel Information

The CDP is located in Anniston, AL at the former Fort McClellan. It is located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains approximately 60 miles east of Birmingham and 90 miles west of Atlanta, GA, at exit 185 or 188 on I-20. Anniston, Alabama is located in the Central Time Zone.

Arriving by Air?

Congratulations on your decision to train at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). Once you’ve received your itinerary, the only obstacle standing between you and world-class training is getting from your place to ours.

The majority of flight arrangements are scheduled using electronic tickets (e-tickets). You will not have a traditional hard copy ticket, but you will have a flight confirmation sheet which contains your travel information (flight number, departure time, departure location, etc.). If your departure location does not have e-tickets available, your prepaid airline ticket will be sent by U.S. Postal Service or other shipping service such as UPS, Fed-Ex, etc., (signature required) the week before your travel date. The ticket provided is the property of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); if unused, this ticket must be returned immediately to the mailing address on the contact page.

If change to your ticket is made by you or your agency, you will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred. Unauthorized changes to your airline ticket may result in significant delays in your transportation from the airport to the CDP. All CDP transportation to and from the airport is scheduled based on the CDP-provided airline ticket.

If you’re flying – which is how more than 75 percent of our students travel to the CDP – you’ll need to do a little advanced planning. If you’re traveling between June 1 and Aug. 31, you’ll be joining an average of more than 2.51 million travelers who fly on U.S. airlines each day during that period, according to trade group, Airlines for America. With that in mind, below are a few tips for a smoother travel experience.

The day before you travel

This is a good time to look over your CDP itinerary; it has all the information you need to check-in online 24 hours before your flight’s departure. You can either print your boarding pass then or at the airport prior to your flight.

Preparing for Airport Security

Packing your carry-on

If you’re a state, local, tribal or territorial responder, you are authorized reimbursement for one standard-size, standard-weight checked bag. This will leave more room in your carry-on for a couple of snacks, something to read and the chargers for your electronic devices, although it’s always a good idea to fully charge your devices before you leave home. Remember to follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 3-1-1 rule: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be in 3.4 ounces or less and all bottles must fit in a single, quart-size plastic bag.

Leaving for the airport

The rule of thumb is to arrive at the airport two hours ahead of your flight’s departure time, but three hours will give you some wiggle room if you find yourself in an excessively long line at a security checkpoint. If you want to know just how long the wait times are, you can log into Under “Airport Information,” you can find security wait times, terminal maps and airport delays for just about every U.S. airport.

Security screening

Once you near the checkpoint, have your ID and boarding pass out, ready to hand to the TSA agent. When you get to the divesting tables, remove large electronics, like laptops, and your 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag from your carry-on for separate screening.

You can’t do much about the long lines at the security checkpoints, but you can do your part to get through the security screening quickly. Start by wearing shoes that you can slip off and on easily. Minimize the number of accessories you wear to the airport. It’s just more items that you’ll have to take off and place in the bin during the screening. Similarly, minimize the amount of items in your pockets. Stow your accessories and pocket items in your carry-on, if possible. If you have to drop them in a separate bin, put them in with your shoes. You might forget your change or keys, but you probably won’t walk away from the checkpoint without your shoes.

Arrival in Atlanta

Once you’ve retrieved your luggage in Atlanta, proceed to the South Baggage Claim Terminal where a CDP Student Support Services representative will meet you at the “window side” of Baggage Carousel 5 near the escalator entrance. He or she will verify your ID and escort you to the CDP motor coach that will drive you to the CDP campus and the start of a rewarding training experience.

A government issued photo ID is required to board CDP transportation at the airport. Once you have checked in with the CDP Student Support Services representative, you will be able to place your luggage in a secure holding area and move about the airport until the time of departure. A Student Support Services representative will remain on-site, prepared to transport late arrivals to the CDP.

If you experience ground and/or air travel delays or difficulty in locating CDP Student Support Services representatives at the airport, contact Student Services at (866) 213-9551 or (256) 847-2072 as soon as possible. Alternative arrangements for transportation will be coordinated once notification is made.

Federal, Private Sector, and International students are required to make their own flight arrangements and are not authorized to receive reimbursement from the CDP. They are authorized to travel to the CDP on the provided bus transportation, at no cost, if prior arrangements are made through Student Support Services. If you are an international student, please be prepared to show your passport or visa to the CDP Student Support Services representative at the airport.

Arriving by Car?

Driving Directions to the CDP

From I-20, EXIT 188 (MAP 1, point D)

On I-20, take exit 188. Travel north on Morgan Rd. / Leon Smith Pkwy. / Golden Springs Rd. / Veterans Memorial Pkwy. over the mountain until you get to Iron Mountain Rd. Turn right on Iron Mountain Rd. and follow until you come to Bains Gap Rd., (blinking red light). Go through the intersection for one block, turn left onto an unnamed road, and follow to the gated lodging entrance on the left. (MAPS 1 & 2, point B)

From I-20, EXIT 185 (MAP 1, point E)

On I-20, take Exit 185 (AL Hwy. 21 Oxford /Anniston). Drive north on AL Hwy. 21 towards Anniston /Jacksonville State University following the signs to Fort McClellan. (See Fort McClellan area directions below.)

From HWY 431 (MAP 1, point F)

Take US Hwy. 431 South to Hwy. 21/McClellan Blvd. Turn left onto McClellan Blvd., drive north on AL Hwy. 21 following the signs to Fort McClellan. (see Fort McClellan area directions below.)


Fort McClellan Area (MAP 2)
Turn right onto Baltzell Gate Rd. (MAP 2, point A) and proceed to the traffic circle. Enter traffic circle and take the third exit onto Berman Rd. Follow Berman Rd. until you come to Iron Mountain Rd.; turn right onto Iron Mountain Rd., to the gated lodging entrance on the right (MAPS 1 & 2, point B).


Upon Arrival

Upon arrival, report to Building 320 (Lodging & Registration) no later than 4:00 P.M. Central Time. For security purposes, be prepared to show a photo ID.


Privately owned vehicle drivers will be reimbursed at the current authorized mileage rate, up to the equivalent cost of airfare from your home location. In-and-around mileage is not reimbursable. Passengers will not receive mileage reimbursement. If you travel in a jurisdictional vehicle (city, county, state, or federal), you will not be reimbursed for mileage.

  • AUTHORIZED travel days are the FIRST and LAST day of the training week.
  • Ensure that you record your beginning and ending mileage.
  • If you experience any difficulties (car trouble, traffic problems, etc.) contact the Center as soon as possible. Points of contact are available on the contact page.
  • For GPS purposes: latitude is 33.717094 and longitude is 85.777731.
Arriving by other means? If you will be arriving by bicycle, train, or private plane then please contact your Resident Training Coordinator. Jet Lag Recommendations

Jet lag can be a problem for travelers who are crossing several time zones. Although it is not a serious condition, jet lag can make it hard for you to enjoy your first few days. Jet lag can affect mood and mental performance. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the effects of jet lag.

Before Travel
  • Exercise, eat a healthful diet, and get plenty of rest.
  • A few days before you leave, start going to bed an hour or two later than usual (before traveling west) or earlier than usual (before traveling east) to shift your body’s clock.
  • Break up a long trip with a short stop in the middle, if possible.
During Travel
  • Avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • On long flights, get up and walk around periodically.
  • Sleep on the plane, if you can.
After You Arrive
  • Adapt to local schedule as soon as possible.
  • Eat meals at the appropriate local time.
  • Spend time in the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water, and avoid excess alcohol or caffeine.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers Health. Chapter 2.