FOX Chicago News is StormReady!

Posted: July 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Chicago – FOX Chicago News is the first television station in Illinois to be certified as a StormReady Supporter by NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Ed Fenelon, Meteorologist in Charge and Jim Allsopp, Warning Coordinator from the NWS Romeoville office presented the award to the Fox Weatherwatch Meteorologists Amy Freeze, Mark Strehl, and Chris Sowers.

This award means that the Fox Chicago TV station has fulfilled all the requirements to receive warnings from the NWS, disseminate those warnings to their entire staff, have an emergency response plan, as well as have a safe evacuation procedure in place.

Every year, more than 10,000 storms strike across the United States and the StormReady Program helps to better prepare communities for severe weather related events, save lives, and protect property. Almost 90 percent of FEMA disasters are weather related.  The federal government maintains that severe weather preparedness is an important factor to help decrease the number of casualties and minimize the approximately $14 billion dollars in damage weather disasters cause each year.
The StormReady Program has numerous guidelines to meet before a school, business, or community can be certified as StormReady. Some of these guidelines include having multiple sources of obtaining warnings issued by the National Weather Service, ways of monitoring weather data, and educating the community with a given number of weather safety talks per year.
The StormReady Program has been recognized for effectiveness in communities across the United States for more than a decade.  In 2002, the StormReady community of Van Wert County, Ohio had a severe weather warning program in place that is credited with saving lives.  With an early warning of almost 13 minutes, 50 people were moved from viewing a movie in a theatre to a safe place as tornadoes destroyed the place where they had been seated for the film.

The official program of StormReady was founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June of 1998 and has grown to incorporate 1,652 StormReady sites in 48 states across the country.

Illinois accounts for 64 of those StormReady sites with FOX Chicago News being one of five supporter groups in the state. FOX was officially deemed StormReady on July 12, 2010 for enhancing public safety by promoting the principles and guidelines of the StormReady Program in the organization’s severe weather safety awareness plans, and was presented with an official plaque by the National Weather Service.

Any group can become StormReady, find out more by clicking  here .

Watch while lead Meteorologist Ed Fenelon from the Chicago National Weather Service declares FOX Chicago News StormReady!


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