Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) will recognize Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area as a leader by naming it among the agency’s “StormReady” communities.
“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 the NWS weather forecast office in White Lake. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”
“The safety of our visitors and campers is a top priority. The Storm Ready program has helped us reach a new level of preparation in case a severe weather event does happen,” says Todd Farrell, supervisor of the Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area.
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 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 over 1700 StormReady communities in the United States. Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area became the 5th park system in Michigan and just the 9th park system in the nation to be granted the StormReady designation.
On May 12th, 2011, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment will host a StormReadyaward ceremony. The ceremony will be held at 1230 p.m. at Bay City State Recreation Center in the Visitor Center in Bay City, Michigan. At the ceremony the NWS weather forecast office in White Lake will present special StormReady signs to the recreation area officials. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the recreation area will go through a recertification process.
“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” Richard Pollman said. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes affect the United States annually, and hurricanes are a threat to the Gulf and East coasts. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”
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,” Richard Pollman 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 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.
StormReady is part of a NOAA/National Weather Service working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
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.
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