PEARL — The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has become the first state emergency management agency in the nation to earn the StormReady designation from the National Weather Service.
“This is a tremendous designation for the agency, knowing we have the plans and technology in place to protect our staff and the State Emergency Operations Center during weather emergencies.” said MEMA director Robert Latham. “I view this as a ‘practice what you preach’ achievement, and I encourage all communities and businesses to become StormReady designees or supporters.”
This makes 55 StormReady designations in Mississippi, including 26 counties, 17 communities, six universities, two government and four military sites. The state also has 14 StormReady Supporter sites.
“MEMA and the National Weather Service offices that serve Mississippi have a tremendous working relationship with the purpose of keeping our citizens safe,” said National Weather Service Jackson warning coordination meteorologist Steve Wilkinson. “Part of that is keeping the employees of MEMA safe through warning reception, dissemination and weather safety training. We are very pleased to have MEMA as a StormReady community.”
StormReady is a nationwide program of the National Weather Service that helps communities protect their citizens during severe weather and encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations.
To be recognized as StormReady the following requirements 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.