Huntsville-Madison County EMA ‘Prepares for Worst’ Ahead of Wintry Mix Event

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Officials from Huntsville, Madison and Madison County convened for a EMA weather briefing Monday afternoon.

The anticipated two rounds of the impending wintry mix event have local agencies putting their heads together.

According to EMA officials, communication is key in situations such as this, whether you live north or south of the Mason-Dixon line.

It especially helps when you have municipalities adept at working together.

"There's not a lot of turf war going on between these municipalities," says Emergency Management officer Paige Colburn.

"There's a lot of partnership, a lot of willingness to work together and make these plans at the same time: maybe not let Redstone Arsenal and the schools out onto the roads at the exact same time of day, for example."

In any winter weather briefing at the Madison County EMA office, you'll find Madison Police making decisions about road preparations right next to administrators from Huntsville City Schools solidifying their delay or closure plans.

It's that type of mindset that helps our area avoid the highly politicized debacles we've seen recently in the Birmingham and Atlanta metro areas.

In addition to local officials, you'll find state agencies like ALDOT on the conference call talking about the pre-treatment of state-run roadways.

Whether it's the manageability of our area - far smaller than the 50 or so plus separate municipalities in the Atlanta metro area - officials here seem to have their routine down when it comes to ensuring the safety of citizens.

"Fortunately, either we're small enough or we've done this so many times now that the three musketeers know how to play together," Colburn laughed.

As clichéd as it may sound, success and safety really is all about preparing for anything.

"We prepare for what's coming down from the sky today to freeze and never thaw," smiled Colburn. "We prepare for the worst case scenario."