PEARL – The Naval Air Station in Meridian is the 4th government or military site to earn the National Weather Service’s StormReady designation in Mississippi. A ceremony marking this achievement was held this morning at Naval Air Station Meridian Headquarters Administration Building.
“NAS Meridian is proud to join military installations in the Navy Region Southeast and the other 46 military installations nationwide that have been certified as ‘StormReady’ communities,” said Capt. Charles C. Moore II, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Meridian. “‘StormReady’ communities are better prepared to save lives through advanced planning, education and awareness, as well as demonstrating the Navy’s commitment to the safety and welfare of its personnel.”
Mississippi has 26 counties, 15 communities, four state universities and four government/military sites designated as StormReady in Mississippi.
“The StormReady program is about making sure that our residents are prepared for severe weather,” said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Chief of Staff Bill Brown. “Our goal is that every resident is prepared for severe weather, whenever it may strike. I hope everyone in our state can look at Naval Air Station Meridian’s preparedness measures and do some of the same things at home to ensure they too are prepared.”
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.
“Being ‘Storm Ready’ is just a natural progression from being ‘Ready Navy,’” said Bryon Garrison, NAS Meridian Emergency Management Officer.
“We have made a lot of progress in bringing on more communities and organizations into the StormReady program,” said NWS Jackson Meteorologist in Charge, Alan Gerard. “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 is possible in their area.”
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
· 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.