by Phil Hysell
Many communities in the Blacksburg forecast area have submitted applications to become “StormReady”.
In 2010, the National Weather Service in Blacksburg certified four new StormReady communities.
In January, the most populated city in our forecast area, Roanoke, officially became StormReady. Also added to the list of StormReady Communities this year were Virginia Tech, which was the first University in Virginia to become StormReady, as well as Buckingham County, VA and Rockingham County, NC.
StormReady Communities have established a way to better protect citizens from severe weather threats.
StormReady is a program aimed at preparing communities across the nation with the communication and safety tools necessary to save lives and property. In a nutshell, StormReady establishes an industry standard for severe weather preparedness and communication.
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 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, Oklahoma area. There are now more than 1,500 StormReady communities across the country, with 10 residing in the Blacksburg forecast area.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the communities will go through a renewal process.
Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather.
For more information about StormReady visit: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov