(L - R) Huntsville MIC Chris Darden, Redstone Installation Operations Center Director Tim D'Ambrosio, Redstone Commander Col. John Hamilton, MSFC Center Operations Director Steve Doering, MSFC EM Dir. Carole Valenti and Huntsville WCM David Nadler (Photo: WFO Huntsville)
(Jan. 24, 2013) -- National Weather Service officials have recognized the Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center as StormReady® communities. Huntsville, Ala. forecast office Meteorologist-in-Charge Chris Darden presented officials with a letter of recognition and StormReady signs in a special ceremony, January 10. The recognitions raise the number of government/military StormReady communities to three in Alabama and 71 in the nation.
"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 Darden.
The nationwide 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 a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa area. Today, there are more than 2,000 StormReady communities across the country.
To be recognized as a StormReady, a community 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; 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. The StormReady recognition will expire in three years, after which the center and the arsenal will go through a renewal process.