"It's only 2-4 inches! I drive in that all the time!" - No you don't. You drive on roads that are prepared CONSTANTLY with salt and gravel, using 4 wheel drive, snow tires or chains. Snow in Atlanta almost immediately melts when it hits the pavement and then turns to ice from the air temperature. ICE people. It's not snow it's ICE.
Yes, we do. Those same air temperatures and conditions occur where I live (Colorado). We call the worst of it - when exhaust and road dirt is mixed in - Black Ice and it is especially dangerous because it can look just like asphalt.
Nobody around here uses chains except semis-crossing mountain passes, or in the most extreme blizzards (like the century storm we had in 2003). We use front-wheel drive and all season tires, and complain about the idiots who immigrate here from California and think 4-wheel drive makes them immune to the laws of physics.
"Southerners can't drive on snow!" - Actually, we don't have experience driving on snow and that would hold true if it were only southerners driving here.
So by your logic, at least two thirds of the people on the roads don't know how to drive in snow. Clearly you don't get the recurrent practice in it that we do around here, but since it does snow there at least a little each year, you should still be prepared for it. The aforementioned front-wheel drive and all weather tires are a good place to start, plus maybe a survival kit, a decent jacket, and sensible shoes. Weather warnings exist for a reason.
So in short, while I empathize with the people who had harrowing experiences, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who were apparently so drastically unprepared. And I scorn the elected officials who failed your city (cue "Arrow") in the interest of saving money.