ATLANTA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region IV office in Atlanta became the first FEMA office to earn the National Weather Service’s StormReady designation.
Forecasters from the weather service presented the designation to FEMA Region IV Administrator Phil May Monday during the Regional Interagency Steering Committee meeting with the region’s eight state emergency management agencies and federal response partners.
“Disaster preparedness is important at every level, from the federal government all the way to each and every member of the public,” May said. “We’re proud to set a good example in our community and we hope that others follow us as we work to become a more resilient nation.”
StormReady is a nationwide program of the weather service that helps communities and organizations to protect their citizens during severe weather, and encourages a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations.
“We are continuously working to get more communities and organizations into the StormReady program,” said NWS Peachtree City Meteorologist in Charge Keith Stellman. “Our goal is that all communities and government installations will take the steps necessary to become StormReady which will in turn mean our residents will be better prepared when severe weather threatens their area.”
The FEMA Region IV campus includes four buildings in the greater Atlanta area, as well as a facility in Thomasville, Ga. And Biloxi, Miss. Less than 30 government facilities nationwide have the StormReady designation.
To be recognized as StormReady, the following criteria must be met:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
- 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.
For more information about StormReady visit www.stormready.noaa.gov.
FEMA Region IV comprises the eight states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.