News: Cherry Point recognized as StormReady military installation
Story by Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point will receive a certificate of accreditation as a StormReady military installation today from the National Weather Service.
The StormReady program helps communities implement procedures to help safeguard their populations from the threats of severe weather, like notification systems and refining first responders’ procedures.
“No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives,” said John Cole, a warning coordination meteorologist of the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., in a press release.
During severe weather, Cherry Point can stand up the emergency operations center, which directs how the station responds to an emergency situation. It can process information from the National Weather Service and the Navy’s meteorological and oceanographic center to keep the Marines, Sailors and civilians informed on how the severe weather is developing so they can determine how to best prepare and what specific actions may need to be taken. Personnel who staff the EOC also direct the air station’s first responder efforts.
“Through METOC and through our dispatch, we can send out notifications installation-wide that are the same information that they’re getting outside the gates,” said Etta Lucas, the mission assurance installation emergency manager. “(The notification system ensures) that they get timely and accurate information that we’re having severe weather so they can prepare and they can evacuate if they need to.”
In order to receive accreditation, communities apply online and must maintain standards set by the National Weather Service. StormReady communities have redundant methods of monitoring weather conditions, receiving weather warnings from the National Weather Service and alerting the public. They also hold educational outreach programs for the public, maintain an emergency operations center and train severe storm spotters.
So far, Cherry Point is the third Marine Corps installation after Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Marine Corps Base Hawaii to receive StormReady Accreditation.