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Local News

National Weather Service Declares Santa Barbara StormReady

The designation recognizes communities that have developed response and safety plans, and communications infrastructure

The city of Santa Barbara on Monday received the NOAA’s National Weather Service StormReady® recognition. The designation recognizes that Santa Barbara and its citizens are better prepared for rapidly changing weather patterns and severe weather.

To achieve the distinction, the city met rigorous criteria, which include developing severe weather safety plans and communications infrastructure, and actively promoting severe weather safety through awareness activities and safety training.

The StormReady preparedness program helps communities develop severe weather and flooding response plans with the National Weather Service and local emergency managers. Since the program began in 1999, more than 1,500 U.S. communities have become StormReady.

At a ceremony Monday. Mark Jackson, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Oxnard, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to city officials.

“Here in Santa Barbara, natural hazards that could lead to emergencies are with us year-round,” Jackson said. “StormReady arms the city of Santa Barbara with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property — before and during the event.”

Yolanda McGlinchey, Santa Barbara emergency services manager, said: “With the ravages of fires in the last two years, Santa Barbara city has been left vulnerable to flooding in several, if not all, watershed areas within the city. The city’s highest priority is in protecting our community. We are honored to be recognized by the National Weather Service with the prestigious StormReady community designation. We value the partnership this designation brings and the collaboration with the National Weather Service on assisting the city of Santa Barbara in becoming a StormReady community.”

To earn StormReady designation, a community must:

» establish a 24-hour center for receiving National Weather Service warnings and an emergency operations center;

» have redundant ways to receive weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public;

» create a system that monitors local weather conditions;

» promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars;

» and develop a formal hazardous weather plan for training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

The StormReady program is part of the NOAA National Weather Service’s working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.

— Matt Ocana represents the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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