With Hurricane season now in full swing, Harnett County Emergency Management has achieved a recognition that will pay major dividends in the event of a severe weather emergency. Harnett County has been recognized as a StormReady County by the NOAA’s National Weather Service.
Harnett County Emergency Management earned the county’s first StormReady County designation in 2001. Emergency Services has since renewed that designation five times with the most recent renewal going into effect July 31, 2016. The designation is good through July 31, 2019.
Harnett County Emergency Services Director Jimmy Riddle called the designation a prestigious honor.
“This is an award that our Emergency Management division secured for Harnett County,” Riddle said. “It shows our readiness capability in Harnett County.”
The StormReady program is intended to help communities strengthen local extreme weather-related safety programs. StormReady communities and other jurisdictions are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. While no community is storm proof, participation in the StormReady program can help communities save lives.
StormReady helps communities respond to weather events by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
To earn the StormReady designation, communities must do the following:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and 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 severe weather spotters and emergency exercises
All requirements are reviewed by the National Weather Service, which conducts a site visit to make sure all StormReady requirements have been met.
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners recognized Riddle and Emergency Management for achieving the honor at a recent commissioners meeting.
“Thank you for making sure Harnett County is prepared,” Commissioners Chairman Jim Burgin said.
For more information on the StormReady proram, go to http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/.