Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sumpter Township wins national weather preparedness honor

Sumpter Township was recently honored by the National Weather Service as a leader in storm preparedness.
Officials from the National Weather Service have named Sumpter Township among the agency "StormReady" communities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Richard Pollman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in White Lake.  "StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property - before and during the event."

The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassrootsapproach 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 the local weather forecast office and state and local emergency managers.  StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.  There are nearly 3000 StormReady sites in the United States. Sumpter Township became the first unincorporated township in Michigan to be granted with the StormReady designation.
Sumpter Township hosted a StormReady award ceremony as part of the Sept. 10 Sumpter Township Board of Trustees Meeting. 
The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when Sumpter Township will go through a recertification process. To be recognized as StormReady, a site must: 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 multiple outreach efforts and develop a formal hazardous weather plan.
"The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world. The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country," Pollman said.
"Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes,” he concluded.