Rockford recertified as StormReady community

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – Rockford was recently recertified as a StormReady community by the National Weather Service.

The City’s emergency preparedness team, led by the Rockford Fire Department, has achieved this certification since July 2010.

“It’s another credit to Chief (Derek) Bergsten, our fire department and our community partners,” Mayor Tom McNamara said. “Chief Bergsten has now led a fire department that’s one of only 10 that’s dual accredited in the United States. He’s continuing to be innovative in different practices with integrated health, our opioid task force and storm readiness. It’s a tremendous credit to him and his leadership.” 

StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.

StormReady uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of extreme weather—from tornadoes to winter storms. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.

To be officially StormReady, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public; create a system that monitors weather conditions locally promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

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