COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — The National Weather Service says all 46 counties in South Carolina are now considered ‘StormReady’.
The announcement was made at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Columbia Tuesday morning.
‘StormReady’ is a National Weather Service program that uses a grassroots approach to help develop plans to handle extreme weather. Officials said the program also encourages communities to take proactive approaches to handle hazardous weather operations.
John Quagliariello is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the NWS in Columbia. He said, “Although impacts from severe weather events, including hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and winter storms are often unavoidable. Residents and visitors to South Carolina can be assured the state can be prepared as it can be for these weather events.”
South Carolina is no stranger to natural disasters in recent years, especially flooding. The state established a new Office of Resilience to mitigate this.
Officials said the ‘StormReady’ program was started in 1999. Over the years, some counties in South Carolina took steps to earn this distinction.
To be recognized as ‘StormReady’ a county or community has 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.
South Carolina is now one of six states where all counties are considered ‘StormReady’. Every four years, counties or communities have to go through a renewal process.
Tricia Palmer, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for NWS Greenville-Spartanburg, said, “This is a big thing for South Carolina. We applaud all the work the emergency managers across the state have done. This is a huge recognition for the state.”
Ultimately officials said this type of preparation will help save lives in South Carolina. They say in addition to your county leaders being ready, you and your family should be as well.
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) Director Kim Stenson said, “Personal preparedness is a big part to the emergency management equation when the next event comes.”
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