Attacks of Nature: How Communities Prepare

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

You can't fight mother nature, but you can protect yourself from her fury as much as possible.

We continue our series, 'Attacks of Nature,' as we wrap up tornado and severe weather awareness week.

Two area communites are going the extra mile to ensure their residents are safe when the next big storm hits.

Americans cope with 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and 1,000 tornadoes every year.

So the National Weather Service has created the StormReady program.

"What StormReady tries to do is help prepare a community or city or even a county for severe weather," said Jeff Last, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Though it sounds simple, there are only eight communities and three counties in the state with the designation: Racine, Oneida, and Lincoln.

"It's a rigorous program, but in the end you will make that community or county stronger if severe weather were to threaten," Last said.

Lincoln county has a warning system that includes 50 radio receivers in each county building.

"You never really know how well you're prepared until it actually happens, but we do what we can," said Brian Sladek, Lincoln County's emergency management director.

Being StormReady is more than having the title.

"What's as or more important is those counties and communites have taken the time to ensure they have those items that are need, all checked off," said Last.

It means those communities will know they've done everything possible to keep casualties at a minimum if nature's fury strikes.

And when living in the most severe weather-prone country on earth, that's good to know.

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