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.
So how do communities become StormReady?
They must meet strict guidelines to be StormReady: maintaining a 24-hour warning point… maintaining an emergency operations center… operating communications equipment in order to contact the NWS during severe weather… maintaining local weather and water monitoring equipment… identifying ways to disseminate warnings to the public… and encouraging public preparedness.
By meeting these guidelines with advanced planning… education and awareness… communities are better prepared to save lives in the event of severe weather.
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… and last month had its certification as a StormReady community recertified.
CEMA continues to inform the public through speaking at various functions as well as using all of the Public Service Announcement tools to ensure 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. It is tested regularly. They 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. Also… a recently installed computer system that will automatically activate sirens in a particular area that fall under a warning issued by the NWS.
Being recognized as a StormReady community is something the residents of Chatham County should be proud of.
1430 East Victory Drive
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