Before The Storm

Working to ensure readiness in the event of severe weather events, Naval Base Kitsap recently achieved the StormReady designation, as awarded by the National Weather Service. Led by supervisory emergency management officer Scott Larson, emergency management officer Amanda Windes and manager of the base's Emergency Operation Center Force Tolar, Naval Base Kitsap emergency management teams worked to ensure that the base was compliant with all aspects of the StormReady designation. These elements included training weather spotters, establishing formal plans and emergency exercises and ensuring warning systems are in place to allow for immediate alert of residents and employees.

"Earning StormReady recognition demonstrates that Naval Base Kitsap has a program to keep personnel and families on all of our bases ready for and advised of emergencies,” commanding officer Capt. Tom Zwolfer told The Kitsap Sun.

Intended to encourage communities to plan and prepare for weather-related disasters, the program was established in 1999, and attempts to support the implementation of associated changes via a grassroots approach. Key areas for obtaining the StormReady designation include:

  • Establishing a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Having multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars
  • Developing a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.