(L - R) - Huntsville WCM David Nadler, NACC Plant Supervisor Kent Jones, Administrative Asst. Angie Stewart, NACC Pres. Dr. David Campbell, Rainesville, Ala. Police Chief Norman Smith, DeKalb County EMA Anthony Clifton and NACC Vice Pres. Dr. Joseph Burke (Photo: WFO Huntsville)
(Oct. 11, 2012) -- National Weather Service officials recognized Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) as a StormReady® Supporter during a special ceremony, Sept. 28. Home to nearly 3,500 students and faculty members, NACC is one of only two accredited community colleges designated as StormReady Supporters in Alabama.
"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 Chris Darden, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Huntsville.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The voluntary program equips communities with the tools to enhance public safety by working closely with 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 David Nadler, warning coordination meteorologist in the Huntsville office.
To be recognized as a StormReady Supporter, an organization, business, facility or local government entity must actively promote the guidelines of the StormReady Program.
They include: having 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 the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. Recognition expires in three years, after which the college will go through a renewal process.