Wood County awarded recognition as StormReady

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The National Weather Service (NWS) has recognized Wood County as a StormReady County.

Wood County becomes just the fourth county in East Texas to be recognized as StormReady.

“East Texas experiences very active severe weather episodes throughout the year,” said Charlie Woodrum, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, La.

“Due to our geographic location, potentially deadly weather could impact Wood County on any given day,” he said. “In order to prepare for severe weather and keep its citizens safe, emergency management officials partnered with the NWS to meet the criteria required by the StormReady program.”

Woodrum and Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford presented the county with a recognition letter and a special StormReady sign during a Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting.

The nationwide StormReady community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from their local NWS forecast office as well as state and local emergency managers.

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.

Over 1,400 counties in the U.S. have achieved StormReady status.

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