St. Charles joins group of StormReady communities
“StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness in partnership with their local National Weather Service office,” said Ken Graham, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in New Orleans.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from the local National Weather Service forecast office and state and local emergency managers.
The program began in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla. area. Today, there are more than 1,400 StormReady communities.
“The program is designed to help StormReady communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives before, during and after a severe weather event,” said Frank Revitte, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the New Orleans/Baton Rouge Weather Forecast Office.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and, develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
The StormReady program is a part of NOAA National Weather Service’s working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. The StormReady recognitions expire in three years, after which the parish will go through a renewal process.
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