Safety means storm ready at every garrison
June 10, 2013
SAN ANTONIO (June 10, 2013) -- According to the National Weather Service, Americans live in the most severe-weather-prone country on Earth.
Weather disasters in the United States account for around 500 deaths and nearly $14 billion in damage each year. Americans can expect to face an average of 100,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and two deadly hurricanes making landfall in the same time period.
And this doesn't even include intense summer heat or winter cold, high winds, wild fires or other deadly weather impacts. U.S. Army installations are impacted by the same severe weather, directly affecting Army property, personnel and mission.
U.S. Army Installation Management Command's goal is to ensure that every garrison is prepared for severe weather -- maximizing safety and minimizing damage.
In July 2012, the Installation Management Command Provost Marshal/Protection Office sent a memorandum to Region Emergency Management Coordinators and Garrison Emergency Managers encouraging the expansion of IMCOM's stateside installations (including Alaska and Hawaii) participating in the National Weather Service StormReady certification program.
NWS StormReady is a nationwide program to help communities, universities and installations better protect their citizens, students, Soldiers, families and workforce during severe weather incidents.
This program encourages communities and military installations to take a proactive approach to improve local preparation and readiness for hazardous weather conditions. StormReady provides emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations along with providing recommended local procedures designed to reduce the potential for disastrous, weather-related consequences. There is no cost to apply to the StormReady Program.
Eleven IMCOM garrisons have completed the NWS process for "StormReady" certification so far: Carlisle Barracks, Detroit Arsenal, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Rucker, Fort Sill, Rock Island Arsenal and Camp Humphreys, Korea.
In the past few months, Americans have experienced several severe storms. Oklahoma has had multiple tornados this year, with severe financial damage and almost 100 lives lost. In Mississippi, ice storms and tornados left thousands without power and several dead. Texas tornados killed at least 6 people. In March of 2013, AccuWeather's long range forecasters predicted a severe storm season during the mid-spring and early summer of this year.
"It looks like everybody is going to be vulnerable to severe weather this year from the Gulf of Mexico in early April up to the Midwest by late in the spring and early summer," said Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.
The best way to save lives during a severe weather event is to be prepared as much as possible, which includes ensuring the proper planning, education and awareness exist throughout the community. To save lives, get ready. StormReady.
For more information on the StormReady program, visit www.stormready.noaa.gov. Call IMCOM's point of contact for StormReady at (210) 466-0518.