News: Cherry Point readies for severe weather season
Story by Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N. C. - Emergency responders, safety experts and weather forecasters educated air station patrons on how to prepare for severe weather and other life-threatening events at Cherry Point’s annual Emergency Preparedness Fair Friday.
The main focus of the fair was on weather preparedness. Local experts went over what to pack for an emergency kit and how to design family plans in case disaster strikes.
“We saw quite a few people and they ranged in all ages,” said Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Newport and Morehead City. “It was a really good way to reach out to make people aware of all the hazards that come with weather.”
North Carolina was barraged with a variety of storms throughout 2011. On April 16, Eastern North Carolina saw its largest recorded tornado. Later that year, Hurricane Irene made landfall on the Outer Banks and dumped massive amounts of rain and damaging winds.
The weather usually cycles with the seasons. Pagano said severe storm activity usually peaks in April and then again in autumn. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, meaning the local area is most at risk of experiencing the storms during the summer and fall months. The StormReady program is designed to help communities, especially their emergency management personnel, plan for and mitigate threats posed by severe weather.
Cherry Point recently received accreditation from the National Weather Service’s
StormReady program, which prompted air station leadership to host a fair to educate patrons on how to survive disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and house fires.
In their online resources, the National Weather Service wrote, “There are few guidelines dealing with the specifics of hazardous weather response. (The National Weather Service) recognized this need and designed StormReady, a program to help communities of all kinds ... implement procedures to reduce the potential for disastrous, weather-related consequences.”
“The StormReady program gives clear recommendations on how to establish effective emergency weather operations,” said Pagano. “We want to make sure everyone on Cherry Point is warned in a timely fashion. Cherry Point has put in a lot of effort to be storm ready.”
For information about storm conditions, preparedness tips and emergency resources related to destructive weather, see the 2013 Cherry Point Destructive Weather Guide at http://www.cherrypoint.marines.mil.