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Salem recognized for storm preparedness

November 30, 2018

Salem Township has been recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady Supporter community.

The grassroots StormReady program is meant to encourage communities to establish severe weather safety plans and promote weather awareness.

To qualify, an organization must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and alert the public; monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs and ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in emergency management plans. Having trained local weather spotters is another requirement.

Fred McMullen, a National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist based in Pittsburgh, recently presented a StormReady certificate to officers of the Slickville and Forbes Road volunteer fire departments, who accepted on behalf of the township.

The departments support the township’s efforts in the program, according to David Rader, Slickville’s second assistant chief.

Rader said his department keeps residents apprised of weather hazards through posts on its Facebook page while coordinating efforts with Westmoreland County officials.

“The county has a weather emergency plan, and we run off it,” Rader said, adding that the township has its own emergency management coordinator.

More than 2,800 communities and nearly 800 supporters have enrolled in the national StormReady program since it began in 1999. StormReady recognition is good for three years and can be renewed.

The National Weather Service’s Pittsburgh office is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for about 4.5 million people in 15 counties in Pennsylvania, 11 counties in Ohio, nine in West Virginia and one in Maryland.

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