Storm Ready Designation
The City of San Antonio became a certified Storm Ready Community in
March of 2009. Storm Ready is a nationwide community preparedness
program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle
all types of severe weather, from tornadoes to tsunamis. The program encourages
communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather
operations. Emergency managers are given clear-cut guidelines on how to improve
their hazardous weather operations through this program. To be officially considered
a Storm Ready community we must ensure the following:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars and presentations.
- Develop and/or maintain a formal hazardous weather plan which includes training
severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Public Warning Systems
During any event the use of law enforcement, fire
and EMS personnel has proven useful during smaller scale operations
which required a rapid dissemination of warnings or evacuation requests to citizens. Once the SAFE program is established, staff can provide briefings to these response
organizations through regular in-service training and through training bulletins.
Emergency Notification System (ENS)
The ENS system has the capability of notifying thousands of people within minutes
through land-line telephone services. Officials can contact people directly via telephone to warn and give instructions during an emergency.
Emergency Activation System (EAS)
This system broadcasts messages over the radio and television. EAS uses a
digital signal to send messages to the public. This system has the ability to reach
a large amount of people in very little time. Other methods of warning the public
may also include 311/211, text messages, e-mail, public service announcements,
flyers and mailings, website announcements, town hall meetings, and schools meetings.
SAFE System Community Education for Children
An important step to fulfilling the SAFE public education objective is through educating
children. SAFE will create a foundation for a prepared and educated public
on flood safety by educating children on basic flood safety and preparedness. For
example, an initial target audience could be 4th graders in every school in Bexar
County. This would involve a 30 minute SAFE presentation. During this
presentation, information on flood safety, disaster preparedness, emergency planning
and creating an emergency kit will be discussed. Every child will receive a SAFE
activity book and pencil. The SAFE mascot will help in the delivery
of this curriculum while encouraging children to participate in skits and other
activities geared towards flood safety.