(L- R) -- Lake Charles Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson, Cameron Parish Assistant Emergency Manager Margaret Theriot, Emergency Management Director Eddie Benoit, Police Jury President Darryl Farque and Lake Charles MIC Andy Patrick (Photo: WFO Lake Charles)
(May 18, 2012) - National Weather Service officials have recognized Cameron Parish, La. as a StormReady® community. Lake Charles forecast office Meteorologist-in-Charge Andy Patrick presented parish officials with a recognition letter and StormReady signs in a special ceremony, April 30.
"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 Patrick.
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. There more than 1,900 StormReady communities today.
"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 Roger Erickson, warning coordination meteorologist for the 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.
The StormReady program is part of NOAA National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. StormReady recognitions expire in three years, after which the parish will go through a renewal process.