RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas - During a special ceremony April 28, Red River Army Depot became the first Army installation in the state of Texas and only the second Army depot in the nation to be recognized as StormReady.

"The StormReady program is designed to help communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives -- before, during, and after a severe weather event," said Bill Parker, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.

According to NWS to be recognized as StormReady, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

"Red River Army Depot experiences very active severe weather episodes throughout the year, and potentially deadly weather could occur on any given day," said Mario Valverde, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the NWS Forecast Office in Shreveport, La.

Valverde and Parker presented RRAD Commander Col. Doyle Lassitter with a certificate and StormReady signs to designate the depot with the special recognition.

"This is a great recognition for our depot because it shows that we truly mean what we say...that our people are our number one resource," said Col. Doyle Lassitter. "This is another example of the things we're doing to consider the full element of Red River Army Depot to take care of our folks that work out here and also be more actively involved in helping the community better prepared."

During the ceremony Valverde also recognized Danny Garrick and Lawrence Fonville for their effort to submit Red River as a StormReady installation.

Today, there are nearly 2,200 StormReady communities nationwide, including 71 military installations. The StormReady recognition will expire in three years, after which Red River will go through a renewal process.

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