How the state EMA prepares for bad weather

How the state EMA prepares for bad weather
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency has been gearing up for Monday's severe weather since last week.
They arrived as early as 5 a.m. on Monday morning to monitor forecasts and communicate with other agencies to make sure the state is prepared. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
They arrived as early as 5 a.m. on Monday morning to monitor forecasts and communicate with other agencies to make sure the state is prepared. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Emergency Management Agency has been gearing up for Monday's severe weather since last week.

"Today really began last Friday when we started our communication with the national weather service knowing what was coming," Jeff Smitherman, Executive Operations Officer for the Alabama EMA, said.

They arrived as early as 5 a.m. on Monday morning to monitor forecasts and communicate with other agencies to make sure the state is prepared.

"We come in and we start our conversations with our divisions, our regions to ensure they're ready for the day," Smitherman said.

"Any of the resources like search and rescue teams and law enforcement support, the personnel behind me will work to coordinate that from the state down to any local that their needs may surpass what they're capable of doing," Smitherman said.

Like Ricky Adams, the Director of Field Operations.

"What I'm doing right now is following the state log system. It's a system where all the counties enter their information such as damage and needs for resources and we'll monitor that and see what that is and pass it along to the right individual here in the EOC so we can address there needs," Adams said.

Think of him as the liaison, allowing for the sharing of information between the state and local governments.

"We follow the weather reports and start communicating with the counties and understand which ones are experiencing damage," Adams said.

At the EMA, severe weather makes for a long day at the office. But for Smitherman and Adams, it's just another day on the job.

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