“With our county experiencing multiple tornadoes, flooding, wind storms and other natural occurrences during the past 17 months, we have armed our residents with several ways to stay informed and in the event of future weather events, we are prepared to respond,” said Troy Spence, director of the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
Every three years, NWS requires each Storm Ready community to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the distinction.
One of the major changes this past few months is the institution of warning systems.
Nixle as well as social media warned Bradley County residents of the March tornado. Salvation Army officials purchased NixlePro for the residents of Bradley County.
The upgrade will be able to contact subscribers to the warning system via cell or landline phones, email and text as well as voice.
“Curtis Cline, our administrative officer, is currently working on a new program which will integrate all of our warning systems for a more seamless transmittal process. He has done a great job working with Nixle and looking into the new program,” Spence said.
Other criteria for NWS Storm Ready program includes weather radios, amateur communications, social media, access to media outlets for information dissemination and many others.
Community preparedness is also a prominent criteria.
CBCEMA has held several NWS Weather Spotters classes (which have grown to capacity crowds since April 2011 tornadoes struck,) and drills in local schools.
Fifty-five counties are Tennessee Storm Ready communities.
At one point, Bradley County was only the second community to have the designation in the state.
“We continually work toward making our county safer for all residents whether it be safe from weather or other natural disaster or man-made incidents,” Spence said
“NWS provides us critical information regarding weather. Weather affects every person in our county every day. Our jobs, leisure time, play time, virtually anything we do depends on weather conditions and we are glad to partner with NWS and be designated as a Storm Ready community,” Spence said.