FLORENCE – Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday joined Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Director Art Faulkner for the annual State of Alabama Governor’s Preparedness Conference in Florence. The conference is designed for local, state and federal emergency managers to discuss disaster response and recovery efforts. The theme of this year’s conference has a specific focus on Technological Hazards.
Alabama has two functioning nuclear power plants, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant located near Decatur and Athens and Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Station located near Dothan, Alabama.
The Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program is the division within AEMA that oversees the response and training for local and state emergency managers preparing for technological hazards. The emergency managers work in conjunction with designated staff at each of the nuclear plant facilities.
“The Alabama Emergency Management Agency does a great job, conducting exercises and drills that ensure the state is prepared for natural and man-made disasters,” Governor Bentley said. “In Alabama we are also fortunate to have key response agencies such as the Alabama National Guard who brings a unique skill set and equipment capability to the table when a disaster strikes.”
Earlier this year, the state commemorated the 5th anniversary of one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in the nation’s history. As a result of April 27, 2011 storms, 254 people were killed, 62 tornadoes ripped through the state, and more than 25,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed.
“The lessons from that unforgettable day have made Alabama stronger, more resilient and a better educated state when it comes to disaster preparedness,” Governor Bentley said. “I am extremely proud of our mitigation funds allocated for community and residential safe rooms throughout the state. Over 4,400 safe rooms have been funded with mitigation dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
In April, Governor Bentley announced an executive order creating the Alabama Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Task Force. This task force will also look at ways to enhance the efficient and cost-effective delivery of emergency management services in Alabama. This task force will be chaired by AEMA Director Art Faulkner and will include several cabinet members and county representatives.
A copy of the signed Executive Order is available here.
Media Release/The Office of Alabama Governor
Robert Bentley/Yasamie August, Press Secretary