(WAFF) - As we anticipate a winter weather event moving into the Tennessee Valley, officials are doing what they can to prepare.
Yasamie Richardson is with the EMA and said Monday has been all about coordinating state groups. That includes national weather offices, the National Guard, state public health officials and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Richardson said the EMA is responsible for determining what resources are available, anticipating what counties may need during the winter weather event, and determining the best places and times to pre-position those groups and agencies.
But Richardson said while the EMA is preparing, the agency asks folks at home to prepare as well.
"We want them to look at their emergency plan. What is their plan of action? Do they know how to contact their county EMA office? If they happen to lose power, what's their plan? Where do they go? What do you do? How do you heat your home safely to make sure you don't put your family in danger? This will be an extended winter weather event," Richardson said.
Richardson said Monday was all about coordinating state groups.
One of Richardson's biggest concerns is Alabama roadways, so they've been in contact with the Alabama Department of Transportation.
WAFF 48 News caught up with ALDOT as well. Seth Burkett, a spokesperson, said Monday the agency was busy treating roads. He said trucks treated state routes with brine, and bridges with calcium magnesium acetate, which is a deicer.
As soon as the daylight runs out, Burkett said they'll switch the trucks out and be prepared to address snowy conditions with snowplows if need be.
ALDOT recommends avoiding the roads if possible, but if you have to drive, Burkett has some words of wisdom.
"When you're traveling, try to stick to outside lanes as much as possible. those are most likely to have been treated," he said. "They're first treated and first addressed when we come to remove accumulation."
Important to note Burkett is not talking about local routes. Those are maintained by cities and counties. But ALDOT officials said they're doing what they can to keep state roads and highways drivable.
"Alter your driving to fit the conditions. Don't drive too fast. Roads may be slippery or there may be patches of ice," Burkett said. "Drive at a safe speed and go prepared in case you encounter some conditions or get stuck or may not be able to continue your travels."
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