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Amarillo Civic Center Declared StormReady

Residents of the Panhandles are no stranger to severe weather, which is why weather preparedness is a critical part of living and working here.  That's why we're proud to announce that on August 22, 2013, the Amarillo Civic Center was officially designated as StormReady!

To achieve StormReady Supporter status, the Amarillo Civic Center met such criteria as having a warning point and/or emergency operations center, placing NOAA weather radios throughout the facility, maintaining situational awareness during severe weather, and knowing what to do when severe weather strikes.  It does not mean that the Civic Center is a public storm shelter; instead, the certification means the Civic Center has gone above and beyond in weather safety preparedness to make sure that visitors and attendees of the Civic Center are safe if severe weather strikes.  "I think the public should be proud and feel a little bit more confident when they're attending an event at the Civic Center that there are people behind the scenes that are doing everything they possibly can to keep them safe," said José Garcia, NWS Amarillo Meteorologist-In-Charge.

The StormReady is a voluntary program designed to help communities, counties, and other entities take a proactive approach to the kinds of severe weather that affect their area by improving local hazardous weather operations and heightening public awareness. Communities, counties, and other entities work with the local National Weather Service office and emergency management to become StormReady.  The program was started by the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, OK in 1999 as an effort to educate residents about storm safety.  It has now expanded nationwide with over 2,100 StormReady sites across the United States and its territories.

The Amarillo Civic Center is the first public facility and the 16th entity overall to be recognized as StormReady in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.  "Obviously, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are the primary focus of the NWS Amarillo StormReady program," said Krissy Scotten, NWS Amarillo Warning Coordination Meteorologist.  "We hope many other Panhandle communities will apply and work towards gaining StormReady recognition just like the Amarillo Civic Center."  For more information on the StormReady program for your community visit here.

Amarillo Civic Center Storm Ready Ceremony

Amarillo Civic Center Complex Operations Manager Christopher Post is presented the Storm Ready certificate by José Garcia, NWS Amarillo Meteorologist-In-Charge.

 Amarillo Civic Center StormReady Ceremony

From left to right: Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management Assistant Emergency Coordinator Dr. Maribel Martinez, Amarillo Civic Center Complex General Manager Sherman Bass, Amarillo Civic Center Complex Operations Manager Christopher Post, Amarillo Civic Center Complex Assistant General Manager Bo Fowlkes, NWS Amarillo Meteorologist-In-Charge José Garcia, and Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management Emergency Coordinator Kevin Starbuck pose for a photo Thursday morning at the Amarillo Civic Center.