Most of you are aware that a passion of mine is weather. Annually, for 3-4 weeks I partner with NOAA on storm chasing expeditions in the plains chasing tornadoes. Much of the focus of this trip is not only collecting storm data, but also collecting damage data. This data is then used by the engineers with the National Storm Shelter Association and residential design engineers to improve the construction of single family residential homes in an effort to protect life and property during severe weather events.
Earlier this year, I applied with the National Weather Service (NWS), on behalf of Pro-Tech Inspections to be what they call a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. A couple of months ago, I was approved. Needless to say, this is another passion to combine with home inspections to expand our reach into the community.
Tonight, as I continue to study the data and radar images associated with the tornado that was on-going at this time last night, I thought I would announce this program, and share the services we will be offering to the communities we serve. These services are free of charge, and in no way require you to use, promote, or do business with Pro-Tech Inspections.
I care about you. Whether you use Pro-Tech Inspections or not, our friends, neighbors, and the local real estate and business community are important to us.
The Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador™ is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to strengthen partnerships with external organizations toward building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events.
Building a Weather-Ready Nation™ requires more than government action alone. It requires innovative partnerships with other weather information providers (i.e., the Weather Enterprise), and with organizations across all segments of society for better community, business, and personal decision making.
WRN Ambassadors will serve as change agents and leaders in their community. They will inspire others to be better informed and prepared, thus helping to minimize, mitigate, or avoid the impacts of natural disasters. WRN Ambassadors can encourage these changes in their community in a number of ways, including:
- Setting an example by becoming “weather-ready” yourself (e.g., making employee preparedness a priority and having a disaster plan);
- Promoting Weather-Ready Nation key messages in your outreach activities;
- Providing incentives to your constituents and stakeholders to become more resilient; and
- Sharing success stories with NOAA.
To support our efforts, NOAA will:
- Provide outreach content about creating a Weather-Ready Nation;
- Work with WRN Ambassadors to explore innovative collaborations to promote disaster preparedness and incorporate weather, water, and climate information in decision-making;
- Assist with StormReady®/TsunamiReady™ opportunities for communities;
- Recognize your organization as a WRN Ambassador.
So, how can we help you?
- Do you have an emergency plan for your home/family? If not, let’s create one.
- Do you have an emergency plan for your office? If not, let’s create one and protect your staff.
- What type of office do you have, how is it constructed, where will your staff go, where should they go?
- If a tornado warning was issued for your office where would, or where should people go?
- What is your plan of communications to check on staff whether in the office or in the field?
- As an employer, did you know you are responsible for making sure each of your emplopyees know and are aware of such a plan, and that you should have one in place?
And it’s not just tornadoes, severe storms, hail, hurricanes, heat, drought, and winter weather can all present you with significant weather hazards.
We will begin to have monthly posts highlighting items appropriate for the season and associated conditions for which you can prepare.
If you’d like to have a training class or prepare an emergency action plan for your office, please let us know. You can do so by calling the office at 864.386.3810 or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My prior experience as a firefighter/paramedic, and my consulting work with public safety agencies across the country have given me the experience and knowledge to help you with this. I have prepared numeroous communications plans and emergency response plans in working with FEMA, DOJ, and other federal, state, and local jurisdictions.
I approached the NWS with this idea to bridge my two passions. I am honored to have been chosen and look forward to helping you ensure all of our friends, business partners, vendors, staff, and thier families are knowledgeable and have a safety plan before a situation like last night strikes our communities.
In the interim, please be in prayer for our neighbors across the mid-south. I look forward to hearing from you soon.