Through continued efforts to increase resident safety in the face of severe weather, the National Weather Service recognized the City of Parkville as a StormReady® community during the Board of Aldermen meeting on October 18, 2016. A sign was presented to the Board by lead forecaster Jared Leighton of the National Weather Service of Kansas City/Pleasant Hill.
Each year, an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and six deadly hurricanes hit the United States. Due to the city’s geographic location, severe weather can impact Parkville. StormReady®, a program designed by the National Weather Service (NWS) that started in 1999, is a nationwide program that helps communities better protect citizens during severe weather and encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improve local hazardous weather operations. The program helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property, before and during an event.
Police Captain Jon Jordan, Parkville Emergency Management Director, coordinated the efforts with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the NWS. In order to become certified StormReady®, applicants must be able to answer three questions: How do we quickly notify the public during severe weather? What do we do when the primary systems fail? How do we educate the public? To verify the City met all the requirements, the NWS completed inspections on communications and storm monitoring equipment and verified that the City completed checks of weather radios. In addition, Captain Jordan toured the NWS Kansas City/Pleasant Hill facility.
A total of 84 sites in Missouri have been certified StormReady®, including 29 counties, 51 communities, two government/military sites, four universities, one commercial site and 21 supporters. Communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area include Gladstone, Independence, Kansas City, Riverside, Smithville and Sugar Creek. Park University is the only university in the Kansas City area that is StormReady®.
Captain Jordan said “During the StormReady® process, I learned about multiple tools and education that can be used during severe weather and brought that information back to the City. This is an additional tool to have at our disposal to use during severe weather.”
The City of Parkville provides emergency updates and information during severe weather by text messages and e-mail through Platte County Connection, a program provided free by the Platte County Sheriff’s Office. To sign up through the City’s website, visit http://parkvillemo.gov/departments/police-dept/emergency-management/.
For more information about the City’s certification contact Captain Jon Jordan at (816) 741-4454.