When Seconds Count: StormReady Communities are Prepared
Ninety percent of all presidential declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage. To help Americans guard against the ravages of severe weather, the National Weather Service has designed StormReady, a program aimed at arming America's communities with the communication and safety skills necessary to save lives and property.
To be officially StormReady, a community must:
- Have 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
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises
In February, 2001, Alachua County was recognized as the first StormReady community in Florida. The award followed an application review and site visit by an advisory board to ensure the criteria we being met.
"I am delighted to see Alachua County achieve StormReady recognition," said Steve Letro, Meteorologist in Charge of the Jacksonville NWS Weather Forecast Office. "The recognition is the result of the county's dedication to keeping its citizens as safe as possible during severe weather and hurricanes."
Presentation of StormReady Re-certification from the National Weather Service-Jacksonville to the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management Staff
From left to right: Commissioner Lee Pinkoson (Chair, Board of County Commissioners), Al Sandrik (National Weather Service), and David Donnelly (Asst. Emergency Manager).