Local Emergency Management Agencies get added help from community during weather events

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Some local emergency management agencies have extra resources in the community to help them respond even better to a weather event.

“Is it freezing rain, is it sleet, is it snow, how much, is it sticking to the roads, is it sticking to the grass,” Marshall County EMA Director Anita McBurnett says. Those are the questions EMA officials work with during an event like the weather system the Valley has been experiencing. They have the resources and the knowledge to answer them, and make decisions that are in the best interest for the community.

For the Marshall County EMA and others in the area, there are other valuable resources officials can turn to. “The storm spotters program was initiated by the National Weather Service across the country,” McBurnett says.

It’s a program that trains members of the community to be the eyes and ears for local emergency management agencies. “To teach people what to look for in severe weather and how to report it, and where to report it to,” McBurnett says.

The Marshall County EMA responds to these trained individuals across the county for an added pinpointed, credible, look at what’s going on from Arab to Asbury. “Having storm spotters and people out in the community who are willing to participate and provide that information is just both beneficial to all of us, because we’re able to then take that information and get it back out to the public,” McBurnett says.

It’s just another resource for the EMA to do their job even better — and keep the community up to date.