Cleared Skies

Working with the National Weather Service, the county of Fairfield in Ohio recently gained StormReady certification. As noted by National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Haydu, this program is intended to "help arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills they need to protect lives and property." Certification required a wide range of criteria, including, but not limited to:

  • Integrating severe weather threats into the community's mitigation and emergency response plans;
  • Identifying multiple sources through which the public can obtain severe weather warnings and forecasts;
  • Establishing a local weather monitoring system; and
  • Promoting public awareness of the program and resources through community seminars.

Fairfield County Emergency Management Agency director Jon Kolchis noted of the StormReady certification: "I think it's a great thing. It validates what we're trying to do to prepare for severe weather," and that the process was not as complicated as expected, as the county had already incorporated many of the requirements into its planning.