Teton and Hot Springs Counties Become StormReady®

Two western Wyoming counties were recognized as StormReady® in recent ceremonies celebrating the distinguished achievement.  Both Teton and Hot Springs counties met rigorous criteria designed to help make communities better prepared to deal with the hazards of nature.

Jason Biermann, Teton County Emergency Manager, and assistant Rich Ochs were the driving forces behind Teton County’s StormReady® designation.  New training and communications initiatives in Teton County were key to meeting the set criteria.  In Hot Springs County, Emergency Manager Bill Gordon has long been a strong partner with the National Weather Service office in Riverton.  The final criterion for Hot Springs County was met this October with the installation of a weather station in Thermopolis.

StormReady® is a NWS program that encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness.  Communites that attain the StormReady® designation will have improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property, before and during an event.  Officials at the Riverton NWS office are pleased to commend the leaders of Teton County and Hot Springs County Emergency Management.  Both agencies did an outstanding job in developing the necessary infrastructure to meet the criteria set forth by the StormReady® program.

            To earn StormReady® designation, a community must:

·    Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
·    Have redundant ways to receive 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 for training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Provided below are photos of the Teton County (top) and Hot Springs County (bottom) StormReady® recognition ceremonies.  Both events were held in conjunction with the respecitve county commission meetings.

Teton County StormReady Recognition Ceremony
(left to right: Jason Biermann, Teton County Emergency Manager; Kevin Lynott, Meteorologist in Charge NWS Riverton; Bill Murrell, StormReady® Program Leader NWS Riverton; Rich Ochs, Teton County Deputy Emergency Manager) 

Hot Springs County StormReady Recognition Ceremony 
(left to right: Representative Lorraine Quarberg, Wyoming House District 28; Kevin Lynott, Meteorologist in Charge NWS Riverton; Bill Gordon, Hot Springs County Emergency Manager; Brad Basse, Hot Springs County Commissioner; Pam Buline, Field Representative for U.S. Senator John Barrasso; Senator Gerald Gies, Wyoming Senate District 20; Dr. Frank Manning; Hot Springs County Commissioner; Joe Moore, Director of Wyoming Office of Homeland Security; Bill Murrell, StormReady® Program Leader NWS Riverton)

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