Warren County Schools cannot prevent bad weather, but it is StormReady in an effort to protect students.
StormReady is a nationwide program offered by the National Weather Service. The program helps schools better protect students during severe weather by encouraging them to be proactive in improving their severe weather plans.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brittney Whitehead made the announcement Friday that Warren County Schools was the third school district in Tennessee to receive the StormReady distinction by meeting all the criteria, a 13-step process that included on-site inspections of each school to verify compliance.
Vickie Dodd, Federal Programs director for Warren County Schools, spearheaded the effort to prepare the schools to pass the StormReady inspection and each of the schools now has a staff member who is a liaison working alongside Dodd to make sure their school continues to be compliant with the program.
“This program looks at different aspects of our schools and prepares us for bad weather, specifically tornadoes,” said Dodd.
According to Director of Schools Bobby Cox, this program is just one of many efforts to protect students.
“Storms are obviously unpredictable,” said Cox. “We want to make sure we are following the best protocols. Going through this process has shown us ways we can improve and things we can do better. Our No. 1 goal is the safety of our kids. I want to thank Vickie publically for all the hard work she has put into making this happen for our school district.”
The National Weather Service also offers the StormReady program to counties, cities, colleges, military installations, government sites, businesses, etc., to better prepare them to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.
According to the National Weather Service, Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Some 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.
For more information on StormReady, visit www.stormready.noaa.gov/.