It began with preparedness.
Two years before the tornado, Mayor Maddox along with dozens of other City Officials received extensive disaster training at the FEMA facility in Emmetsburg, Maryland. When tragedy struck, Walt immediately implemented the City’s incident command system, mobilizing city forces and coordinating with state and federal officials. Walt led the City in putting forth immediate solutions for rescue, recovery, debris removal, and other emergency measures.
Then began the long road of recovery.
Proposed by Mayor Maddox, the City adopted the Tuscaloosa Forward process, which solicited and received input from thousands of citizens, businesses, experts, and other stakeholders. This process was a blueprint for full recovery and has been studied by many other municipalities and organizations.
After a disaster of this magnitude, there is no perfect recovery and it is impossible to please every person affected. But you have no choice but to make decisions, pick up the pieces, and move forward.
And Walt moved forwarded with extraordinary poise, dogged perseverance, determination, and courageous leadership.