ALBION, Ind. (WANE) – Officials were at the Noble County courthouse Monday morning at the county commissioners meeting to award the county its StormReady certification. Noble County’s Director of Emergency Management Mick Newton says the recognition validates all the hard work his team has put into this. He hopes community members and elected officials will take notice and do their part to maintain a community that is ready when severe weather strikes. He urges Noble County residents to have a go-kit and plan for when severe weather or some other natural disaster affects them.
Noble County’s recognition is part of a larger initiative by the local National Weather Service office in northern Indiana to certify six StormReady counties and supporters this year. Next year they hope to recognize four or five, one of which will hopefully be Allen County. Allen County officials have submitted their application and are working through the process of making sure all elements are up to par. Michael Lewis, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in northern Indiana, says it takes larger counties longer to go through the process. Counties that have a higher population must be held to the same strict standards as smaller counties, but their initiatives, trainings, and strategies are on a much larger scale. It takes time to carefully analyze all aspects of this application.
For Noble County, the process is not over after this certification. Emergency Management staff hopes to work with local businesses and industry to get them certified as StormReady Supporters. To be considered for the StormReady certification, a county must:
- maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, like a 9-1-1 dispatch center
- have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and alert the public to those
- be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions
- conduct community preparedness programs
- ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which includes holding Skywarn weather spotter training and emergency management exercises.
To see if your county or business is StormReady or to get more information about the program, go to the NWS StormReady website here.