Saturday, November 20, 2010

"StormReady" This Oakland County Polar Bear Is Ready! ARE YOU?

photo courtesy of Detroit Zoological Society
With winter weather at the door and Michigan full of unpredictable severe weather events all year long it is worth taking note of the Detroit Zoo.  The Detroit Zoo just became the first zoo in the country to be certified "StormReady" by NOAA, the National  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And kudos to our zoo for their accomplishment!  The nationwide StormReady preparedness program leads communities, universites and other venues in developing plans to handle local severe weather events.  To be recognized as StormReady a location must:  1. Establish a 24 hour warning point and emergency  operations center. 2. Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warn the public. 3 Create a system that monitors local weather conditons. 4 Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars. 5. Develop a formal hazardous weather plan which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.  Do you have a plan  for your family?  When severe weather hits, and in its aftermath, the probability of a rapid emergency response is greatly reduced. What will you do if your power goes out, snows get deeper, winds howl, powerlines crack, trees snap, lightning flashes, tornado sirens scream, wildfires rage, rivers flood and EMS, police and fire services can not reach your location?  We are not like the thick furred polar bears at the zoo, content in fish-munching and gazing at curious humans in the viewing tunnel. We humans are poorly adapted. We are frail and often careless creatures when it comes to severe weather impacts. But we can plan. We usually do not. Dialing 911 for advice during severe weather is not a plan.  It is a sign of your failure.  So is texting for help when you are stuck in a blizzard-spawned snow drift and all you have in your car is a thin dressy coat. Follow the lead of our zoo: Be ready for whatever nature has in store.  Detroit Zoo:     StormReady:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great column, as usual!

November 21, 2010 at 5:48 AM 

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