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Okaloosa County maintains StormReady designation for over 20 years from NWS

The National Weather Service (NWS) has renewed Okaloosa County’s StormReady status, recognizing the County’s commitment to emergency preparedness through robust communications infrastructure and increased severe weather awareness. “I am extremely […]

Source: Okaloosa County Public Information Officer

The National Weather Service (NWS) has renewed Okaloosa County’s StormReady status, recognizing the County’s commitment to emergency preparedness through robust communications infrastructure and increased severe weather awareness.

  • The County has held this designation since 2002.

“I am extremely proud that Okaloosa County remains at the highest level of storm readiness,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Paul Mixon. “While we cannot prevent natural disasters, it is important for all of us to be prepared so that we can react appropriately before, during and after a storm.”

To maintain the StormReady status, which is effective for four years, Okaloosa County demonstrated efficiency in Emergency Operations Planning, Coordination and Partnership Development, and Community Preparedness.

  • The designation is approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NWS, and the local StormReady Advisory Board.

To be officially StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

“Meeting the metrics defined by the National Weather Service for this recognition is a reflection on the hard work of the County’s Emergency Management team,” said Okaloosa County Director of Public Safety Patrick Maddox. “The fact that we pay attention and have plans and policies in place, ensures that we are as prepared as possible in the event of a disaster.”

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