(April 6, 2017) Tampa International Airport recently became the first Florida airport to receive StormReady certification from the National Weather Service. The official designation came on March 2, when the Airport presented its program and verified to the NWS that it has met the criteria for the recognition.
The NWS StormReady program is designed to recognize communities and organizations that have reached a high level of severe weather preparedness and meet a list of criteria that has been established by the NWS and state and local emergency management officials.
Among the required criteria, the Airport must:
- Establish a local 24-hour warning point and an Emergency Operations Center
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan
- Conduct periodic drills/exercises
- Have multiple ways of receiving NWS warnings and alerting the public
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars and presentations
Tampa International Airport prepares annually for the possibility of weather impacts during hurricane season, which officially begins on June 1. Coincidentally, National Weather Service representatives will be in Tampa to present the Airport with the official StormReady certificate at its June 1 aviation authority board meeting.
While all 67 counties in Florida are deemed StormReady communities, the importance of large facilities such as airports becoming StormReady cannot be understated, said Brian LaMarre, NWS Meteorologist-In-Charge for the Tampa Bay area.
“The StormReady recognition for Tampa International Airport is pretty exciting and I can't say enough about the persistence and dedication of Airport staff in working with us throughout this process,” LaMarre said. “Given TPA’s importance to commerce and air transportation, as well as its historic expansion, this should give the Tampa Bay community some comfort that its airport is leading the way in ensuring greater awareness, greater preparedness and greater recovery in the event of severe weather or a hurricane.”
For more information about the NWS StormReady program, visit: http://www.weather.gov/stormready