Austin/ Weather & Environment
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Published on February 28, 2024
Austin Renews StormReady Certification, Boosting Severe Weather Preparedness and Safety TrainingSource: City of Austin

As severe weather continues to be a threat, the City of Austin takes a proactive stance on safety and preparedness. The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) announced the renewal of Austin's certification as a StormReady community. This distinction, granted by the National Weather Service (NWS), underscores the City's commitment to safeguarding residents through advanced planning, and educational initiatives.

Austin has maintained its StormReady status since December 2004, and this latest nod extends through December 15, 2027. To earn this badge, cities must meet stringent requirements, including the development of a 24-hour emergency operations center, a multi-channel communication system to disseminate weather alerts, and local weather monitoring capabilities. Furthermore, Austin emphasizes the significance of community readiness, offering seminars, and implementing a formal hazardous weather strategy that incorporates emergency exercises, and severe weather spotter training.

In a statement obtained by the City of Austin's official website, HSEM Director Ken Snipes shared, "Being a StormReady city is one way we demonstrate that we take emergency preparedness seriously in our community." He noted the collective responsibility citizens share in staying informed and aiding each other in times of crisis.

Furthering these efforts, HSEM is collaborating with the Austin and San Antonio NWS Office and Travis County Emergency Management to co-host a SKYWARN Severe Weather Training class. Slated for March 2 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at St. Edwards University's Jones Auditorium, the program is free of charge and welcomes all interested parties. The training provides insights into severities such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail, and the correct protocols for reporting these conditions to the NWS. Registrants can sign up online and should use the code SkyWarn for parking arrangements.

Austin-Weather & Environment