The National Weather Service (NWS) has designated Walker County as a StormReady County. The four-year designation provides continued recognition of the county’s efforts to reach a high level of severe weather preparedness.
“Walker County is doing its part to minimize the vulnerability of our citizens to extreme weather events,” said Chief Blake Hodge, Walker County Emergency Management Director. “In order to be officially recognized as a StormReady County, we met a number of benchmarks established by the NWS, state and local emergency management officials.”
Criteria includes the development of a formal hazardous weather plan, establishing a 24-hour warning point and Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and utilizing multiple methods to alert the public to severe weather warnings and forecasts. “We also actively monitor weather conditions locally, promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars and utilize a corps of trained storm spotters who report storm information to the NWS,” added Chief Hodge.
Among the resources Walker County uses to alert the public about severe weather is SirenGPS. The community notification system sends smartphone notifications, text messages and calls landlines when the NWS issues severe weather warnings. Residents can sign up for the free service through the SirenGPS app, available on Apple and Android devices, or by calling Tina in the Walker County Commissioner’s Office at 706-638-1437.
In addition, Walker County has access to the Facebook Local Alert system, which shares weather alerts in the newsfeed of every Facebook user in Walker County.
This is the third time since 2015 that the NWS has recognized Walker County as a StormReady County.