National Weather Service officials have recognized Garrett County, Maryland as a StormReady® community. Fred McMullen, Warning Coordination of the National Weather Service forecast office in Pittsburgh will present county officials with a recognition letter and special StormReady signs during a ceremony at the Garrett County Courthouse Public Meeting Room on Monday, December 4, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
“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,” McMullen said. 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, Oklahoma. area. Today, there are more than 2,600 StormReady communities’ nationwide and 18 counties in Maryland. “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 Fred McMullen, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the 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. Disaster preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.
Educating yourself and your family on environmental hazards, maintaining a disaster supply kit, and having an emergency plan in place, are all proactive ways you can be better prepared. The StormReady program is part of NOAA National Weather Service’s working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
The StormReady recognition will expire in three years, after which the county will go through a renewal process.
The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Visit us online at weather.gov/Pittsburgh, on Facebook using NWSPittsburgh, or Twitter @NWSPittsburgh