(Front Row - L - R) - Melissa Huffman, EM student volunteer; MIC Tom Bradshaw; Addison Mayor Todd Meier; Senior Meteorologist Eric Martello; and Emergency Manager John O'Neal. (Back Row) - Addison City Council members and city officials. (Photo: City of Addison)
(July 18, 2012) -- National Weather Service officials have recognized Addison, Texas as a StormReady® community. Fort Worth forecast office Meteorologist-in-Charge Tom Bradshaw presented city officials with a recognition letter and StormReady signs in a special ceremony at city hall on July 10.
"StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness in partnership with their local National Weather Service office," said Bradshaw.
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 the local National Weather Service forecast office and state and local emergency managers. The program began in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla. area. Today, there are more than 1,900 StormReady communities.
"The program is designed to help StormReady communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives — before, during and after a severe weather event," said Mark Fox, warning coordination meteorologist for the Fort Worth forecast office.
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; and, develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Disaster preparedness is everyone's responsibility. Educating yourself and your family on environmental hazards, maintaining a disaster supply kit, and having an emergency plan in place, are all proactive ways you can be better prepared.
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 expires in three years, after which the city will go through a renewal process.