FARMINGTON — The key to weathering severe storms is preparation and quick response. Farmington is stepping up to assure it’s as prepared as possible when inclement weather strikes.
Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service have recognized Farmington for completing a set of warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being “StormReady.”
Farmington Police Department Communications Supervisor Dan Duncan was supposed to attend this week’s city council session to brief the group on a long list of efforts made to comply with the NWS to meet the criteria. But it was announced at Thursday’s meeting that Duncan would be outlining the city’s efforts during the Sept. 27 council session.
Duncan has taken the lead in assuring city policies are in line with NWS standards, and that emergency warning systems are in place both for the community and in municipal buildings.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness,” said Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service, or NWS, forecast office in St. Charles, Mo. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property — before and during the event.”
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 a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers.
StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 1,600 StormReady communities across the country.
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;
• Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
“The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world. The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country,” Kramper said.
“Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate everyone in the United States about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual’s responsibility to protect him or herself,” added Kramper.
Doug Smith is a reporter for the Daily Journal. You can reach him at 573-756-8927, or at email@example.com.