Gov. Ivey visits Clanton for hurricane drill

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency held a drill practicing response to a hypothetical hurricane, named at the AEMA headquarters in Clanton on May 14.

Gov. Kay Ivey and members of her Cabinet attended the drill and thanked those in attendance for helping to keep the state prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

“I am very confident in the high level of competence and commitment I see on the floor,” she said. “There are a lot of folks on the floor down there, and they are very well trained. They know what they are looking for, and they know how to let us know so we can share that information with our people. I’m very confident about our EMA activities here in the state.”

According to Alabama Emergency Management Agency director Brian Hastings, the drill centered on response to a notional category 4 hurricane, named Yvonne, that struck Mobile Bay directly before moving farther north into the state.

“It’s an event that gives us the opportunity to get together as a team of the emergency management family here at the state (emergency operations center),” he said. “We talk through those things, build relationships, look at our processes and build our training and education on blue sky days so that on black sky days we can come together as a team to help the citizens of Alabama.”

Representatives from many different state agencies were on hand playing their part in the coordinated response at the EOC.

While Hurricane Yvonne may have just been a drill, Ivey, Hastings and National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Darden all spoke on the recent tornadoes that hit Lee County as an example of the kind of disaster drills like this one help prepare EMA members for.

The AEMA headquarters are located at 5868 County Road 41 on the southern edge of Clanton.