Allen County has been recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady Community. National Weather Service officials from Syracuse, Indiana, made the formal presentation recognizing the designation during the Allen County Commissioners legislative session today.
The StormReady program gives communities the skills and education needed to survive severe weather before and during the event. StormReady is a voluntary program developed by the National Weather Service in partnership with the emergency management community to help emergency managers strengthen their local hazardous weather operations.
The guidelines are intended to ensure the community has the tools necessary to receive and disseminate life-saving National Weather Service warnings throughout the community. Educational activities within the community that focus on the potential impacts of severe weather are also an important aspect of the program to ensure citizens are prepared for a quick response once they receive the warning information.
“The steps have been taken by the local government, specifically emergency management, to be proactive and partner with the National Weather Service to help the citizens of the county be as ready as they can for the impacts from diverse weather,” Mark Frazier, NWS meteorologist-incharge, said.
According to the program’s guidelines, StormReady communities must have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and to alert the public to the threat; they must have established a 24-hour warning point and EOC from which emergency response efforts can be coordinated; they must promote the importance of public readiness through education and training; and they must have a formal hazardous weather operations plan that is utilized during disasters.
Commissioner Nelson Peters singled out the county’s Homeland Security office and amateur radio operators for their part in making Allen County StormReady. “It takes a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of different things to make sure that we in our community are as prepared as we can be,” Peters said. “My hat’s off to them and my thanks goes out to them.”