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Ocala
Monday, April 15, 2024

Lake County earns prestigious emergency preparedness designation

The Melbourne National Weather Service has renewed Lake County’s StormReady recognition through 2021.

The recognition, which Lake County first attained in 2003, is an acknowledgement of the high level of community readiness that is maintained in the event of a natural disaster. And that includes the county’s ongoing effort to promote public education of potential disasters.

Members of the Lake County Office of Emergency Management staff display the StormReady designation certificate from the Melbourne National Weather Service.

“The communication infrastructure and level of severe weather readiness throughout the county will undoubtedly minimize the loss of life and property in the future,” reads a letter written by Scott Spratt, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The severe weather procedures currently in place throughout the county far exceed the minimum requirements of the StormReady program.”

Some of the requirements to achieve the prestigious designation include establishing a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; having more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public; creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally; promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and developing a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

In fact, Lake County recently partnered with the National Weather Service to train 65 new SKYWARN weather spotters.

While the county continues to work to educate employees, partner agencies and local citizens about hazardous weather, there are steps residents can take now to help safeguard themselves from their impacts.

“The Atlantic hurricane season is typically at its busiest between now and the end of October, with the hurricane season ending Nov. 30,” said Tommy Carpenter, director of the Lake County Office of Emergency Management. “While it is good news that the Atlantic hurricane season forecast has been lowered, please remember, it only takes one. Our office strongly encourages all community stakeholders to be aware of local and tropical weather conditions, maintain personal and professional preparedness and register with AlertLake.”

AlertLake is Lake County’s emergency notification system that can provide important information regarding severe weather and public safety emergencies. Registration is fast and free at www.alertlake.com.