Chatham County Storm Ready Renewed - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Chatham County Storm Ready Renewed

Savannah, GA – (September 5, 2013)

Each year dozens of cities, counties and states across the country are affected by severe weather.  In fact, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), nearly 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to an average of 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage. 

Because of the importance placed on preparing, planning, and recovery, the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is committed to making sure Chatham County will be able to survive a weather related event. 

So how do communities become StormReady?  Chatham County must meet strict guidelines to be StormReady to include: maintain a 24-hour warning point, maintain an emergency operations center, operate communications equipment in order to contact the NWS during severe weather, maintain local weather and water monitoring equipment, identify ways to disseminate warnings to the public, and encourage public preparedness.  By meeting these guidelines with advanced planning, education and awareness, our County is better prepared to save lives in the event of severe weather.  

CEMA continues to inform the public through speaking at various functions as well as using all of the Public Service Announcement tools to ensure our residents are kept informed on what to do in the event of a weather emergency.  CEMA uses an interactive web based telephone service to notify residents of impending dangerous weather conditions and/or civil/criminal emergencies. We test this system regularly.  We also utilize social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter and a mass email system to inform residents of critical information. 

In addition, Chatham County has 60 emergency outdoor warning sirens, covering 95% of Chatham County's population.  These sirens are placed near high population areas to get the maximum coverage for each siren.  We have also recently installed a computer system that will automatically activate sirens in a particular area that fall under a warning issued by the NWS.

Chatham County was also the first county in the Georgia to have two StormReady Supporters: Tybee Island and JCB.

"Being recognized as a StormReady community is something the residents of Chatham County should be proud of.  With so many disasters stemming from weather-related events, it's imperative to take a proactive approach when it comes to responding to and recovering from these events.  We have been lucky in Chatham County, but as we enter the peak of hurricane season, we can never let our guard down.  Taking steps now to reduce the impact from a major hurricane, or any other weather related event, will help our residents recover faster and potentially save lives," said CEMA Director Clayton Scott. 

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