Village of Pinehurst Recognized as Storm Ready
The National Weather Service (NWS) recognized the village of Pinehurst as a StormReady Community on Jan. 8.
Village officials accepted the designation during a presentation at a recent Village Council work session.
"The National Weather Service motto 'When Seconds Count, StormReady Cities are Prepared' is something we take very seriously," village Fire Chief Carlton Cole said. "This is not an easy designation to obtain ... it's a testament to the hard work and preparation of our employees and the citizens of the village as we strive to ensure a safer community."
StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness. A Storm-Ready designation does not mean that a community is stormproof, but better prepared to save lives affected by severe weather through better planning, education and awareness.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather threats. The village of Pinehurst accomplished the following in order to be recognized as StormReady:
Establish a 24-hour warning point and an Emergency Operations Center.
Have multiple methods to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and multiple methods to alert the public.
Create a system that monitors local weather conditions.
Promote the importance of readiness though public education.
Develop a formal hazardous weather plan that includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
"A key element to preparedness is citizen involvement," Cole said. "We have held two SkyWarn Weather Spotters training in Pinehurst, hosted severe weather training at the elementary school, and are in the process of developing additional Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to work with fire and police personnel in the event of an emergency. We welcome and encourage every citizen to get involved and partner with local public safety officials."
According to the NWS, Americans live in the most severe weather prone country on Earth. Each year, more than 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather events, including an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and 10 hurricanes.
Ninety percent of all federally declared disasters are weather related.
For more information on StormReady, SkyWarn or CERT, contact Cole at (910) 295-5575 or email fire@ vopnc.org. Additional information is available at http:// www.storm-ready.noaa.gov.
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