Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

Georgia Governor Implements Reforms for Storm Warnings

Gov. Nathan Deal said the state will launch an alert system modeled off of Amber Alerts to notify residents and drivers of severe weather.

Georgia National Guardsmen deliver fuel to stranded motorists
Georgia National Guardsmen deliver fuel to stranded motorists in January 2014. Georgia Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Michael Uribe

Gov. Nathan Deal tried to minimize the fallout from the icy gridlock that paralyzed metro Atlanta by tapping a task force of meteorologists and other experts charged with making sure there's not another repeat performance.

The governor also said the state would launch an alert system modeled off of Amber Alerts for missing children to notify residents and drivers of severe weather. And he said programmers are at work updating the state's emergency weather app.

Deal has come under fire for his response to the snowfall last week that turned normally short commutes into ordeals that stretched for hours, and for some, through the night.

Deal's Severe Weather Warning Task Force includes forecasters from the four major networks, law enforcement officials, school administrators, state legislators and emergency responders. Charley English, the head of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency who apologized for failures as the storm approached, will also be involved.

Both Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have promised exhaustive reviews of the storm response to ensure the region is better prepared for future storms. Deal said an internal review should be complete within 10 days.

(c)2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

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