PEARL – Grenada County is the most recent county to earn the National Weather Service’s StormReady designation in Mississippi. A ceremony marking this achievement was held this morning at the Grenada Emergency Operation Center.
“Grenada County is located in a very active tornado and severe weather region so we are very pleased that they have achieved this level of preparedness,” said Alan Gerard, Jackson National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge.
Mississippi has 26 counties, 17 communities, four state universities and five government/military sites designated as StormReady in Mississippi.
“With severe weather being a constant threat to our state, we are encouraged to see so many of our communities taking the steps needed to become StormReady,” said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Kent Buckley, who represented MEMA at Wednesday’s ceremony. “We hope that any county or municipality that is not currently StormReady would consider taking the steps necessary to be prepared for our next emergency.”
StormReady is a nationwide program of the National Weather Service that helps communities protect their citizens during severe weather, and encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations.
“We have made a lot of progress in bringing on more communities and organizations into the StormReady program,” said NWS Jackson Meteorologist in Charge, Alan Gerard. “Our goal is that all communities and government installations will take the steps necessary to become StormReady which will in turn mean our residents will be better prepared when severe weather is possible in their area.”
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Have multiple ways 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.
To learn more about the StormReady program visit www.stormready.noaa.gov.