National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Simon Properties (La Plaza Mall, Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, Valle Vista Mall become Storm Ready Supporters
Above: Security Directors from each of the Rio Grande Valley Simon properties posing with their certificates. From left: Jose Moreno, Valle Vista Mall (Harlingen); Eduardo (Ed) Vela, La Plaza Mall, McAllen; Javier (Harvey) Reyes, Rio Grande Premium Outlets, Mercedes. NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley Warning Coordination Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith is at right.
Simon Says: Valley Malls Become StormReady

On August 26, 2015, NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley certified three Simon Properties as Storm Ready Supporters. McAllen's La Plaza Mall, Mercedes' Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, and Harlingen's Valle Vista Mall, by dedication to emergency services through US Security Associates, showed that they were fully capable of protecting life and property at each location.

Close correspondence with each Security Director (above) revealed common Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans, abbreviated emergency response flip guides for each tenant, the ability to receive NWS warnings from NOAA Weather Radio, internet, or device application and rapidly transmit to store managers by wireless, PA, and other methods.

Each security office had shelter-in-place maps which displayed safe locations with each mall for patrons and store employees to remain in case of a weather emergency. All had portable radio interoperability with local law enforcement, security cameras inside and out, and plans to activate an Incident Command Post. Being near the coast, detailed hurricane emergency operation plans were also shown and described.

Certificates were awarded after the security directors toured NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley. In the future, we hope to get signs posted at the primary mall entrances, and each mall plans to run a short fused severe weather drill based on a mockup event, described here.

"The national effort by Simon Property Group to have their shopping centers become StormReady Supporters is huge," said NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley Warning Coordination Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith. "Thousands of Rio Grande Valley residents and visitors shop at these malls weekly. With the StormReady designation, shoppers, store owners, and employees can be confident that Simon has their safety in mind, first and foremost, in case of a life–threatening weather situation."