ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - At the January 13, 2015, Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting, Alachua County will be recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) for receiving its fifth renewal of the “StormReady” designation. In December 2000, Alachua County was the first County in Florida to be designated StormReady. On August 18, 2014, the National Weather Service in Jacksonville reviewed and approved the County’s most recent application.
In the three years since the last renewal, Alachua County has continued to improve its storm readiness program. Alachua County Fire Rescue’s Emergency Management Section has embraced social media and adapted it for weather warnings. Currently, weather watches and warnings are sent to Twitter and Facebook in an automated process utilizing NWS products. Additionally, the County purchased the Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS) to send weather warnings to individuals with sensory disabilities. Alachua County has also added weather warnings to its CodeRED notification system. Emergency Management has become an Alerting Authority under the Emergency Alert System (EAS), expanding its warning capability to television, radio, and cell phones.
StormReady was developed by the NWS to recognize Emergency Management programs that have reached a level of excellence in preparing their communities for severe weather and hurricanes. Communities recognized as StormReady have successfully met specific storm preparedness criteria such as:
- Having a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Having more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public.
- Creating a system that monitors local weather conditions.
- Promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
- Developing a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
For more information, contact Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6500 or email@example.com.