EMAs recommend Twitter, Nixle for weather safety concerns

EMAs recommend Twitter, Nixle for weather safety concerns

(WAFF) - People want and need to know about road conditions. Many times, it is a safety concern.

We often turn to local emergency management agencies for the latest information. Madison and Lauderdale Counties and found these organizations are evolving to keep up with the information overload.

"We promise we are not keeping the information here. We are constantly spreading that information out as we get it," said Madison County EMA officer Scott Worsham.

Besides pushing information out directly to news outlets, social media has become a powerful tool for emergency management personnel.

"We want to keep that information as fresh and timely and brief as we possibly can," said Lauderdale County EMA director George Grabryan.

Officials said Twitter and Nixle, a texting service you can sign up for on your phone, are the best places to find the most up to date road conditions.

"Not only do we reach the people that are following us, they actually retweet, they send the information out several times over," Worsham said.

So make sure to either follow your county's Twitter account and sign up with your zip code for Nixle.

"We typically don't list the minor streets because there are just too many. We'll list that secondary roads are impassable or treacherous," he said. "We do list the main arteries such as 565, US-431 and the Parkway."

During severe weather, these agencies get tons of questions about specific road concerns, but remember to try not to to up the lines with minor concerns.

"When those operators need to be free for emergency, calls like traffic accidents, medical calls, things that are ongoing during those times," Worsham said.

"The things that we are trying to go for with these apps and some of the notifications is have it where it is very very low impact as far as what our employees have to do pulling them away from their normal duties. We are still glad to get information out to the news media. We are still glad to take that phone call that a citizen may have. Again, there is other ways to get that information," said Grabryan.

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