On January 24th, 2022 the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sullivan, Wisconsin recognized the New Berlin School District in Waukesha County, Wisconsin as being StormReady.
StormReady is a federal program of best safety practices for weather mitigation. StormReady is run by the National Weather Service and has been active since the 1990s. These five steps bring the New Berlin School District to StormReady status:
- Shelter inspections of all facilities
- A written weather hazard plan
- Annual staff training
- Improved communications for receiving weather information
- Improved internal and external communications.
These procedures were reviewed by Tim Halbach of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sullivan, Wisconsin and accepted as meeting or exceeding StormReady standards.
The StormReady program increases safety by educating communities and people on weather risk. It increases awareness on best practices before, during and after a weather event. Annual weather safety training keeps staff and decision makers current on best practices and procedures. In 2020, over 150 schools in the United States were significantly damaged or destroyed by weather. In 2021, over 500 schools were significantly damaged or destroyed by weather. Already in 2022, at least a dozen schools have been significantly damaged or destroyed by weather and severe weather season is just beginning.
If you have concerns about your procedures and shelters, StormReady is the federal standard for best practices. You can learn more about StormReady at https://www.weather.gov/stormready/. Reach out to Certified Consulting Meteorologist Mark McGinnis at Fair Skies Consulting to learn how to make your community or school district more resistant to severe and changing weather.