NOAA's National Weather Service today recognized Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) as the first StormReady airport system in the United States.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Richard Pollman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA’s Detroit Weather Forecast Office in White Lake, Michigan. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.
“Airports are significantly impacted by weather, and this new designation is reflective of our airports’ commitment to operating the safest-possible air transportation facilities for our customers and the communities we serve,” said Airport Authority CEO Lester Robinson.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities, government entities, universities and businesses 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 the local NWS weather forecast office and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. There are now more than 1300 StormReady communities in the United States.
Representatives of the NWS Weather Forecast Office in White Lake, Michigan, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to Robinson at a public ceremony held today at Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s L.C. Smith Terminal. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, after which time the Airport Authority will be required to go through a recertification process to maintain accreditation.
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,” Pollman said.
“Just like communities, businesses and families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual’s responsibility to protect him or herself,” said Pollman.
“We view being the first airport system in the country to receive StormReady designation as more of a responsibility than an honor,” Robinson said. “Thanks to the initiative of our Emergency Management team, the Airport Authority plans to engage entities throughout the airport community, in addition to each of our neighboring communities, through our outreach efforts to ensure our airports are the anchors of a greater community ready for all types of severe weather.”
NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.
Established in 2002 by the Michigan State Legislature, Wayne County Airport Authority is an independent agency responsible for the operation of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Willow Run Airport (YIP). Serving nearly 36 million passengers each year, DTW is the largest airport in Michigan and among the busiest air transportation hubs in the world. DTW’s 17 airlines offer more than 1,200 non-stop flights per day to more than 160 destinations worldwide. Historic Willow Run Airport, once home to the world’s busiest bomber plant, lies just seven miles west of DTW and is an important general aviation and cargo facility for Southeast Michigan.
On the Web:
Wayne County Airport Authority: http://www.metroairport.com
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