Montrose County declared StormReady by weather service

QUICKREAD

StormReady requirements

Establish a 24-hour emergency-operations center.

• Have more than one way to receive severe-weather forecasts and warnings for the public.

Create a system that monitors local weather.

• Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.

• Develop a formal hazardous-weather plan, which includes training severe-weather spotters and conducting emergency exercises.

Source: The NOAA National Weather Service



MONTROSE — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently declared Montrose County is “StormReady.”

To receive the designation, the county completed an application and adopted a series of emergency plans, public-notice alerts and weather-monitoring systems designed to inform the public about severe-weather events.

Montrose became just the third community on the Western Slope to achieve the StormReady status, according to Jim Pringle, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

The city of Delta and Lake City are the other two communities with the designation.

Pringle said there wasn’t a specific weather event associated with Montrose County seeking the recognition.

Rather, he said, county officials “wanted to be proactive about being better prepared.”

StormReady began in 1999 with seven communities near Tulsa, Okla. The goal of the voluntary program is to help communities develop services to handle severe weather and mitigate flooding threats.

The program has grown to 1,700 StormReady communities across the country, where local and state emergency managers work with forecasters with the National Weather Service.

Pringle said Montrose County increased efforts to utilize electronic weather alerts on a radio weather band. That frequency is 162.450 Megahertz. The county also is using more information from National Weather Service websites to issue warnings to residents, he said, and it now issues news releases about upcoming weather events.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said about 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods every year.


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