Randy Books, Northwest WI Regional Emergency Management Director; Tom Mackie, County Board Chair; Dan Brereton, Jail/Dispatch Administrator; Carol Buck, Emergency Management Director ; Carol Christenson, Warning Meteorologist, National Weather Service Duluth; Ana Severson, Jail/Dispatch Lieutenant; Mike Richter, Chief Deputy; Lolita Olson, Administrative Coordinator

National Weather Service officials have recognized Washburn County, WI as a StormReady® county. The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady counties have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes. 

Tuesday evening, Carol Christenson of the National Weather Service forecast office in Duluth, MN, presented county officials with a certificate and a special StormReady® sign during the county board meeting in Shell Lake.   

“Washburn County has every reason to be proud of this accomplishment. Earning StormReady recognition indicates that Washburn County has done everything possible to improve emergency communications, first responder action and citizen preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. By becoming StormReady, Washburn County helps the National Weather Service in its goal for our country to become a Weather Ready Nation,” said Christenson.

Carol Buck, emergency management director for Washburn County, worked closely with Christenson to ensure the county met StormReady guidelines. During the recognition ceremony before the county board, Buck acknowledged that it was a team effort with emergency responders, amateur radio, Skywarn spotters and local and county law enforcement and others involved in helping the county become StormReady.

The nationwide community preparedness program, founded in 1999, is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. Today, more than 2,200 U.S. communities are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program.

To be recognized as StormReady, a county must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and to alert the public; be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs; and ensure  hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which include training SKYWARN® weather spotters and holding emergency exercises. 

The StormReady program is part of the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.  The StormReady recognition is valid for three years and can be renewed.  

The National Weather Service’s Duluth, MN Forecast Office is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for 10 counties in northeast Minnesota, 8 counties in northwest Wisconsin  and western Lake Superior. Join us on Facebook and Twitter. Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather.

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