ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Rock Island, Ill. -- In a ceremony held Sept. 21, officials from NOAA's National Weather Service recognized the Rock Island Arsenal for meeting rigorous guidelines necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady. The Rock Island Arsenal is the 22nd military location, and the 1795th community in the U.S. to be recognized as StormReady.

"The Rock Island Arsenal has developed a severe weather strategy that is both practical and proactive," said Donna Dubberke, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in the Quad Cities. "This StormReady recognition acknowledges their efforts and also acknowledges their growing role as a strong community partner during severe weather events."

"This has been a 3-year process," said Kathy Miller, Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, Rock Island Arsenal. "The success is due to the efforts of Jeremiah Cowgill, Brett VanScoy, Installation Building Marshal Wardens, and Senior Leaders who care about their people. Jeremiah developed the RIA emergency Guide and Brett VanScoy leads the Building Marshal Warden Program. Building Marshal Wardens train employees and ensure emergency plans are executed and Senior Leaders reinforce the program. Many thanks to JMTC for helping with the evaluation."

"This designation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Rock Island Arsenal community," said Jeremiah Cowgill, emergency manager, Rock Island Arsenal. "We have worked very hard over the last few years to improve installation preparedness for all-hazards; increasing our ability to see hazards before they affect us and better communicate throughout the installation with the partnerships we have cultivated. Most importantly, the work put forth has increased our ability to save lives, protect property, and serve our most deserving -- the military, Family members, and civilians of the Rock Island Arsenal."

"The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world," said Stephan Kuhl, Meteorologist in Charge, Quad Cities' National Weather Service. "The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady helps communities evaluate their preparedness strategies."

To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
- Have redundant ways to receive severe weather warnings and to alert the public;
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community education;
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.