State EMA partnering with UA on resilience plan 

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2022

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor 

Alabama Emergency Management Agency, whose headquarters are in Clanton, has partnered with the University of Alabama to develop a template for strategic planning to achieve a higher level of resilience and community engagement.

The organization held an update meeting in this process at the Clanton City Hall on March 3. 

Director Brian Hastings said a goal of all this work is for everyone in Alabama to understand the importance of being prepared for emergencies and managing risk. 

Researcher Dr. Laura Myers of the University of Alabama said information had been gathered from focus groups and summit meetings that will be used to develop steps for creating a resilience network of emergency management partners.  

Hastings said the first summit that was held “exceeded my expectations.” Four summits a year are planned for the future. 

Myers said it was important to take the information that was being gathered and apply it in a way that serves emergency management agencies throughout the state.

Creating partnerships has been a focus for EMA nationwide since the 2001. 

“How can we be better prepared?” Myers said. “How can we take the burden off these individual jurisdictions and get everyone involved in the process, so that we can prevent, mitigate and be more responsive to the things that are going to happen?” 

This led to a regional approach to emergency management. 

As a researcher, Meyers is gathering information from multiple organizations for input in developing a plan for moving forward. 

“Basically, it is all about alignment,” Myers said. “It is trying to bring what is going on in the state and the region together to align what is happening, what is going on creating a better communication flow between all of the stakeholders.” 

She said part of this is educating people on what EMA does and how they can be a part in meeting emergency management needs. 

This process will help the EMA offices statewide to function efficiently and better serve residents.