"Every, every organization, every business, every entity that has responsibility for people should have a plan in place, and the ability to shelter those people should severe weather strike." -Michael Lewis, National Weather Service
FORT WAYNE, IN -- Most people have an idea of where to take shelter at home. Likely a basement, interior room, hallway or closet. But what about the bank, post office, or even a sporting event? Where should people go then? The National Weather Service has a program that is helping businesses become StormReady.
"Every, every organization, every business, every entity that has responsibility for people should have a plan in place, and the ability to shelter those people should severe weather strike," says Michael Lewis, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Northern Indiana National Weather Service office. He works with local organizations to help them become StormReady.
"The National Weather Service actually has a program where we recognize businesses, organizations, counties, communities, universities, that have taken the effort to not only develop a plan, but exercise that plan," Lewis says. So what do you need to be a StormReady supporter?
"You have to identify you have a plan, that you've exercised that plan, and that everybody you're responsible for knows what the plan is."
It's a good idea to have a weather radio to let you know when a warning has been issued. This is better than a cell phone because a weather radio will work when there is no power, and no cell service. Then, determine where people would take shelter in the event of a damaging severe thunderstorm or tornado. Find the safest and closest location; preferably an interior room with no windows. After that, practice the plan with employees or people you may be responsible for during severe weather. Make sure that everyone knows the plan and where to go. After an event, be sure everyone is accounted for and assess the situation.
Becoming StormReady is free and takes less time than you may think. Will you make the push to become StormReady this season? To find out more about the StormReady program, visit: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/
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