While the City of Kansas City, Missouri is already a National Weather Service StormReady city, Kansas City Aviation Department staff members applied to the NWS StormReady program to ensure its preparedness efforts at Kansas City International Airport are in line with national standards. NWS informed the Aviation Department that everything is in order for the airport to be considered storm-ready. At a special event Thursday, February 28, NWS presented the department with a StormReady road sign and certificate.
Being part of a Weather-Ready Nation is about preparing for a community's increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Historically, the Kansas City region has been subject to seasonal tornadic activity, flooding, winter blizzards and other severe weather. Some 98 percent of all Presidentially-declared disasters are said to be weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. The StormReady program helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property - before, during and after the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.
“Many of our efforts are focused on the safety and security of the traveling public, including snow removal, wildlife management and airfield inspections,” said Operations manager Bob Johnson. “We’ve had weather-related programs in place as well, and we saw the opportunity to certify these efforts as we do with other programs. We will proudly post the sign along the main entrance road for all to see.”
StormReady communities, counties, Indian nations, universities and colleges, military bases, government sites, commercial enterprises and other groups are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.
StormReady uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather—from tornadoes to tsunamis. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations. Applying is easy. To be officially StormReady, a community must:
Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises
In its application, the Kansas City Aviation Department outlined key assets, processes and procedures. These include an airport employee tornado training video and test, Federal Aviation Administration-approved Airport Emergency Plan, airfield tornado shelters, Everbridge mass notification system, take shelter policies, Weather or Not Weather service contract, weather radio scanner, and a weather radar subscription. A few weeks ago, two NWS staff traveled to KCI from Pleasant Hill and received a tour and inspected the above items.
The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general fund tax revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation, or maintenance of the airports in the system. Visit flykci.com for more information. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.