Local agencies practice winter weather procedure

This week, several agencies across Blount County will convene at the Blount County Emergency Management Association (EMA) office to review and practice official procedure during winter weather events.

The Alabama EMA hosts the winter weather workshop, and all the counties in the state are invited to participate.

“We welcome the opportunity to test our abilities to respond to winter weather events,” says Blount County EMA director Don Roybal.“We need to know if our plan works, and this allows us to know that. If any changes need to be made, they need to be made now.”

Agencies including law enforcement, fire departments, DHR, the American Red Cross, public works, Blount County and Oneonta schools, and more will attend the event.

The National Weather Service will conduct the practice by acting as though the area is in a real-time state of emergency due to winter weather. The entire event spans a few days including briefings for two days followed by an exercise today, Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Roybal says the EMA has hosted other severe weather exercises for years, including a severe weather practice during the spring.

Preparing for upcoming weather events is specifically important due to an expected harsh winter.

“The forecast is calling for lower than normal temperatures and high precipitation,” he says. “This winter weather preparedness event couldn’t come at a better time.”