For the last couple of years, Fort Bend County has been striving to meet the requirements for being recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady County. StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather—from tornadoes to tsunamis. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
Various individuals are responsible for the County achieving the designation, but the two most important have been Alan Spears, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator of the County’s Office of Emergency Management, and Captain Danny Jan of the County’s Sheriff’s Office. Their dedication and efforts have allowed Fort Bend County to:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Fort Bend County OEM wishes to thank Dan Reilly who is the National Weather Service Meteorologist that assisted OEM as we worked to meet all the requirements of the StormReady program.
As of July 24, 2012, there were 1940 StormReady sites in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Guam; 933 counties, 762 communities, 113 universities, 11 Indian nations, 51 commercial sites, 34 military sites, and 25 government sites.
In Texas, there are 125 StormReady designations, including 30 counties, 73 communities, 16 universities, 4 commercial sites, and 2 government sites. If you would like to see a map showing the designation in Texas, click here: Texas StormReady Map. In the Houston metropolitan area, Fort Bend County is the only County that has achieved the designation in the region. Three cities in our area have also achieved the designation, including the City of Friendswood, the City of LaPorte, and the City of Pasadena.
Very soon, Fort Bend County will receive the formal notification letter from the National Weather Service and participate in a recognition ceremony. Attaining the designation indicates that Fort Bend County is committed to safety and preparedness.
For more information about the National Weather Service’s StormReady program, click here: StormReady