Greeley Air National Guard station now StormReady Supporter
By Tech. Sgt. Michelle Leonard, 233d Space Group Emergency Management
/ Published March 14, 2013
GREELEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Colo. -- Through a collaborative effort by on-base shops and local city and county agencies, the 233d Space Group recently became the first military installation in Colorado to be certified as a StormReady Supporter by the National Weather Service.
The StormReady Supporter designation identifies that, as of December 17, 2012, Greeley Air National Guard Station is prepared to alert the installation of severe weather, and potentially save lives and reduce property damage.
The 233d Space Group, a geographically separated unit of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, resides in Weld County, Colo., an area that has historically seen more tornados than any county in the U.S.
"This is a great opportunity for the 233d Space Group to show our involvement with the community, and our commitment to be prepared for any and all natural disasters," said 1st Lt. Charissa Kopecko, officer in charge of the Commander Support Staff, 233 SG.
The StormReady program is a National Weather Service initiative aiming to encourage communities to establish severe weather safety plans and actively take part and promote severe weather safety awareness activities.
Members of the City of Greeley Office of Emergency Management worked closely with the group's safety, readiness, security forces and communication personnel to ensure that shelter kits, procedure guides and checklists were developed, and a Desktop Alert System was used to warn the installation of severe weather. Greeley's OEM also provided the installation with four all-hazard alert radios programmed specifically to receive local county emergency information.
"With the addition of the weather radios to our readiness center (hub for unit operations), our situational awareness is greatly enhanced and we can react in a timely fashion," said Lt. Col. Robert Alexander, director of operations, 233 SG, "thus our people and assets are protected and safe."
The 233 SG received a StormReady Supporter sign, which will be posted at the front gate. The sign is a visual reminder to personnel and local partners that the base has done its part to prepare.
An entity that promotes the principles and guidelines of the StormReady program may be eligible to become a StormReady Supporter, based on the bylaws of the local NWS StormReady Advisory Board and endorsement from a local emergency management agency.
"I am incredibly proud of the work that our emergency management team has put into making us the first military installation in Colorado to be StormReady," said Kopecko.
The director of the Weld County Office of Emergency Management, Mr. Roy Rudisill, shared in the sentiment. "The 233d is a great partner in emergency management and preparedness in Weld County," he said. "They have taken the next step to be part of the Storm Ready program and they should be commended for meeting this requirement."