Press Release

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced immediate reforms for how the state communicates with Georgians when under a winter storm warning; he also named the Governor’s Severe Winter Weather Warning and Preparedness Task Force, which will advise on implementation of reforms and suggest short-term and long-term solutions.

“Effective immediately, a storm warning will trigger a message to cell phones in targeted areas, as in the Amber Alert system, and advise against road travel,” said Deal. “We will go one step further with school superintendents by emailing them weather condition updates, so that they have the most up-to-date information when determining whether to close schools.

“We will overhaul the state emergency app with shelter information, alternative transportation routes and other emergency-related information. Lastly, as storms approach, I have ordered Georgia Emergency Management Agency to consult with local meteorologists on current weather modeling and predictions.


“We made reforms after the 2011 storm on how we treat our roads, and because of that, we have more road treatment facilities located in more critical areas. All the equipment and the all supplies in the world won’t help if the trucks can’t get on the roads. We’ve got to communicate quicker and more effectively on the front end to keep as many vehicles off the road as possible.”

The preparedness task force will meet in an open forum setting and deliver preparedness recommendations to Deal in a timely manner. It will convene as early as schedules will allow and issue a report within 60 days. An internal review by agency heads involved in emergency response will yield a report and action plan to the governor within 10 days.

The task force members are listed below:

Name Office Position

Bart Gobeil (Chair)

Governor’s Office Chief Operating Officer
Charley English GA Emergency Management Agency Executive Director
Keith Golden Dept. of Transportation Commissioner
Mark Williams Dept. of Natural Resources Commissioner
Mark McDonough Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner
Jim Butterworth Dept. of Defense Major General
Jannine Miller GA Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director
Chris Tomlinson State Road and Tollway Authority Executive Director
Glenn Burns WSB Chief Meteorologist
Markina Brown CBS Chief Meteorologist
Ken Cook Fox 5 Chief Meteorologist
Chesley McNeil 11 Alive Meteorologist
Robert Avossa Fulton County Schools Superintendent
Emily Lembeck Marietta City Schools Superintendent
Michael Thurmond DeKalb County Schools Superintendent
Keith Parker MARTA General Manager/CEO
Ed Crowell Georgia Motor Trucking President and CEO
Jeffrey Parker HNTB Corp.; former Connecticut DOT commissioner Vice President
Anthony Wilson Georgia Power Executive VP, Customer Service and Operations
Jerry Donovan Georgia Transmission Corporation President and CEO
Hala Moddelmog Metro Atlanta Chamber President
Gil West Delta Senior VP, Airport Customer Service and TechOps
Steve Thompson GA State Senate District 33
Steve Gooch GA State Senate District 51
Jay Roberts GA House of Representatives District 155
Mike Glanton GA House of Representatives District 75
Kelvin Cochran City of Atlanta Fire Chief
George Turner Atlanta Police Department Chief of Police
Awaiting Confirmation National Weather Service
Awaiting Confirmation AT&T  
Awaiting Confirmation Verizon Wireless  
Awaiting Confirmation Metro Atlanta Municipality