“There was no coordination around school closings, because there are more than two-dozen city and county school systems in “__________.” There was little coordination between highway clearance and service to city streets because “_________” is comprised of dozens of municipalities connected by state and federal highway systems.”
I’m concerned that this storm revealed just how unprepared we are in case of real disaster. If Atlanta, the region, wants to get serious about public safety, its mayors, county officials, and state officials will need to start practicing regionalism instead of paying lip service to it. And whether threatened by a dangerous pandemic, a major catastrophe, or just two inches of snow…”
You have to admit–this is eerie. These comments could just as easily been written about Birmingham.
However, though many of us in Birmingham had a miserable couple of days, we had a completely different emotional response than Atlanta.
Atlanta was hell bent on blaming someone. Let’s attack the governor, the mayor, or the National Weather Service. We’re angry and someone needs to pay. This was the message Atlanta broadcast to the world.
In Birmingham two prominent TV weathermen, James Spann of ABC33/40 and J-P Dice of Fox6 apologized. That calmed everyone down–and then we went about our lives. Certainly there was frustration—but very little animosity.
Every one of my family members was rescued or brought home by strangers or Good Samaritans.
Our media, instead of pointing fingers, featured many acts of selflessness, kindness–even heroism.
Most every family in metro Birmingham has a story about a friend, neighbor, or stranger who helped them. Many churches, businesses, public offices, and private homes took in strangers–offering shelter, warmth, and food. Unselfish people in four wheelers drove up and down roads and highways picking up stranded motorists.
Like Atlanta, we are divided into countless municipalities, but we didn’t search for blame–we wanted to help our neighbors.
We still have “community” in Birmingham. When we compare ourselves to Atlanta or any other city—we need to remember that.
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David Sher is the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham)), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).