The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Severe Winter Weather: A Review of the January 2014 Storms in Georgia

Winter HazardsFollowing the winter storms that paralyzed parts of Georgia from January 26-30, 2014, Governor Nathan Deal requested that the state agency heads in charge of emergency response conduct a review of the events and create a plan for future response. The report, "Internal Review and Action Plan: Winter Storm Event January 26-30, 2014" was completed in February 2014 and announced in a March 4, 2014 press release.

Some of the key recommendations produced by agency heads are the following:

  • "Full implementation of an immediate Action Plan; relating to weather alert notifications to cell phones, consultation with area meteorologists, email updates to school superintendents, and improvements to the 'Ready Georgia' mobile app to be engaged during times of weather emergencies.
  • Legislation to change laws regarding commercial vehicles and emergency equipment used.
  • The creation of Strike Teams to provide rapid response in future weather emergencies.
  • Significant improvements to GDOT's [Georgia Department of Transportation] ability with regard to equipment, storage, supply needs and enhancements, such as weather monitoring pavement sensors around the metro area.
  • A number of operational and procedural enhancements that have small incremental costs but allow state and local government officials, schools, businesses and citizens to make informed decisions on a timely basis."

While this report is specific to winter storms in Georgia, the agencies' recommendations can be useful to other states to prepare for severe winter weather, however unlikely or unusual.