Cobb County achieved StormReady recertification to better protect our residents against the ravages of Mother Nature. StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather—from tornadoes to tsunamis.
The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improve local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
Approximately 90% of all Presidentially-declared disasters are weather related which lead to nearly 500 deaths per year and roughly $14 billion in damage. StormReady, a program started in 1999 in Tulsa, OK, helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during an event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.
To be officially StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and an emergency operations center.
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
The essence of the program is to ensure the entire warning system performs properly when severe weather strikes. The "system" is c omprised of the NWS (which issues the warnings), local emergency management (which ensures the warnings get communicated), and you ( who respond properly to the warnings). When each part of this system performs well, lives and property are saved. StormReady® recognizes those counties in which the system is most likely to perform well.
Information courtesy of the National Weather Service website: www.stormready.noaa.gov.