During the weekly Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council meeting on February 1, the National Weather Service (NWS) presented to the Council the SRPMIC’s StormReady® certification. SRPMIC Emergency Manager Cliff Puckett has been working with the NWS for about 18 months to try to achieve this certification for the Community.
StormReady is an emergency-preparedness program and certification process through the NWS for cities, towns, communities, university campuses and military/government sites. The certification indicates that the site has advanced emergency planning, education, and awareness in place to minimize the negative impacts of hazardous weather.
In order to be certified, a community must complete an application that shows it meets the following criteria:
• internal and external emergency communications
• alerting systems
• understanding of weather hazards and alerts
• community outreach
• disaster planning
According to the NWS, about 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are storm related, with hundreds of deaths per year and billions in damage.
Having communication and safety-related skills in place makes a community better able to save lives and property during a severe weather event.
Once the application is complete and the NWS deems that a community meets the criteria, it sends a team of experts to conduct a site visit. The site visit must confirm that what is on the application is truly in place and operational. Once the site team that visited the Community gave its approval, the application was approved by the Phoenix office of the NWS and then approved by the national office.
“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has received final approval and the Council was presented with the certificate at the Council meeting,” said Puckett. “The Community is not only the first tribe in Arizona to receive this certification, but the first tribe in the southwestern United States. [Salt River is] also one of only 11 tribes in the country that have achieved this status.”