National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Central Alabama Emergency Managers Go Back to School



More than fifty Emergency Managers from across Central Alabama attended the Weather 101 School for Emergency Managers on December 6. This event, organized by Meteorologist Krissy Scotten, was a huge success! With more than half of the counties from NWS Birmingham’s County Warning Area represented, a larger facility was almost needed. The overwhelming response and the positive feedback from area Emergency Managers will likely result in continuing the Weather 101 School on an annual basis.

During this EMA Weather 101 School, Emergency Managers were informed what products and services NWS Birmingham provides, educated on the basics of weather forecasting and radar interpretation, and taught what is needed to assist the NWS for conducting post-storm cleanup and documentation. Presenters included Jim Stefkovich (MIC), meteorologists Krissy Scotten, John Sirmon, Jim Westland, Michael Scotten, Darone Jones, Mark Rose, and Mark Linhares from NWS Birmingham. Geoff Healan and Joe Sims from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management also presented.

Emergency Managers’ offices become mini-weather centers during hazardous weather conditions. They are often flooded with calls from the public seeking detailed information about nearby storms. Emergency Managers need to provide accurate information to help ensure the safety of the citizens in their county. During EMA Weather 101 School, NWS Birmingham provided them with skills and knowledge of how and where to find critical weather information.

NWS Birmingham also took the opportunity at EMA Weather 101 School to learn how to better serve Emergency Managers. This feedback has already improved operating procedures at NWS Birmingham. The goals of Emergency Managers and the NWS are very similar; such interaction can only aid both parties to ensure that lives and property are protected during dangerous weather conditions.

NWS Birmingham thanks the Alabama Gas Company Southern Operations for the use of their meeting room and facility for the EMA Weather 101 School. Also, NWS Birmingham thanks Publix of Helena and Wal-Mart of Alabaster, Calera, and Pelham for generously donating food which contributed to the resounding success of this event.

Jim Stefkovich
MIC Jim Stefkovich asks the audience for feedback on NOWcasts
John Sirmon
John Sirmon presenting radar 101 - the basics
Michael Scotten
Michael Scotten covers rules of thumb on how
forecasting is done
Jason B. Wright
WCM Jason B. Wright discusses gravity waves with the Dallas County Emergency Manager during a break
Lunch Line
The lunch line
Room View
A working lunch
Mark Rose
Mark Rose presenting fire weather
Mark Linhares
Mark Linhares highlights the importance of reporting all damage
Jim Westland
Jim Westland discusses the types of damage to
look for while surveying
Darone Jones
Darone Jones dazzles the audience with his navigation of the NWS Birmingham website
NWS Staff
NWS Staff (from left to right): WCM Jason B. Wright, Michael Scotten, Krissy Scotten, Mark Linhares, Jim Westland, John Sirmon, and Darone Jones (taking the picture)
Class Picture
Class picture of the 2005
EMA Weather 101 School