The Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) has obtained a certification from the National Weather Service that designates Harford County as "StormReady."
StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather - from tornadoes to tsunamis. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
To officially be certified by the NWS as StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center (EOC).
- Have more than one way 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.
Harford County, as an NWS StormReady County, is better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm proof, but meeting the StormReady criteria can help communities save lives.