A ceremony was held in Malvern (Hot Spring County) to celebrate the StormReady achievement. Attendees included government officials, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the National Weather Service.
It is appropriate that Hot Spring County became StormReady given a propensity for severe weather in the area. Interstate 30 runs through the county, with at least two historic tornado outbreaks along the highway. In 1997, an F4 tornado tracked from Arkadelphia (Clark County) into the county during the March 1, 1997 outbreak. Several tornadoes were spawned in the county on January 21, 1999. This event featured 56 tornadoes statewide, which is the largest outbreak in Arkansas history.
To become eligible for StormReady recognition, Hot Spring County had to meet several criteria such as establishing a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, having multiple ways of receiving severe weather information, a means to monitor weather conditions and disseminate local warnings, and developing a formal hazardous weather plan (such as holding emergency exercises).