Rio Blanco County, CO is StormReady


Rio Blanco County, Colorado, becomes a National Weather Service StormReady county
National Weather Service officials have recognized Rio Blanco County, Colorado, as a StormReady® county. The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady counties have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.

Rio Blanco Co presentationJanuary 2014, from left: Jon Hill, County Commissioner Chairman; John Hutchins, County Emergency Manager; Jim Pringle, GJT WFO Warning Coordination Meteorologist; Jeff Eskelson, County Commissioner.

The National Weather Service forecast office in Grand Junction, presented county officials with a certificate and special StormReady® signs during a recognition ceremony at the Rio Blanco County Freeman Fairfield Center in Meeker on January 27, 2014. 
                “Rio Blanco County contains lower elevation areas vulnerable to flash flooding and severe thunderstorms, as well as high elevation areas such as the Flat Tops Mountains which experience frequent winter storms and strong wind events. Rio Blanco County has a strong network of highly dedicated emergency services personnel who work tirelessly to protect the people of Rio Blanco County,” said Ben Moyer.
                “The collaborative efforts of our community is what makes us strong. Rio Blanco County is large geographically, but small in population and emergency response resources. I think the smallness is what brings everyone together to help each other when an emergency happens. The “can do” attitude overcomes adversity most of the time in small communities like ours,” said John Hutchins, Rio Blanco County Emergency Manager.
The nationwide community preparedness program, founded in 1999, is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. Today, more than 1,900 U.S. communities are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program.
                To be recognized as StormReady, a county must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and to alert the public; be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs; and ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which include training SKYWARN® weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
                The StormReady program is part of the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.  The StormReady recognition is valid for three years and can be renewed.  
                NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The 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. Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us online at and on Facebook.
StormReady® is a registered trademark used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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