Town receives StormReady designation

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Add the title of StormReady to the Town of Johnston’s list of keeping citizens protected and informed of impending weather related incidents that threatens life, limb and property.

Rhode Island is the first such state in the country to receive the rating of StormReady, a title of community preparedness program in the United States that encourages government entities and commercial gathering sites to prepare for severe storms.

“The StormReady program is sponsored and certified by the National Weather Service in conjunction with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency,” Joseph P. Razza, Johnston’s Deputy Police Chief, told the Sun Rise Monday.

While making the announcement, Razza – who recently completed the work behind Johnston becoming certified as StormReady – explained that former Deputy Police Chief Daniel O. Parrillo first began working towards the town’s certification during his time as Johnston’s Emergency Management Director before assuming the position of Director of Personnel for the City of Cranston.

Razza also worked towards Johnston’s certification with Stephen Conard of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

The Deputy Chief also wanted it known that “Mayor Polisena saw the StormReady program as a proactive approach to keeping the residents of Johnston safe and was a strong supporter of this valuable initiative.”

Johnston, Razza said, didn’t just receive a sign that declares the town “StormReady” and has the words “Be Prepared” along with several logos and other information.

“We also received a very, very important grant,” Razza explained. “This enables the town to purchase what he called Midland Pocket Weather Alert Radios that are safety made simple and issue warnings when severe weather threatens.”

Razza said that he plans to issue a total of 100 Midland Pocket Weather Alert Radios but announced that to date all schools, as well as assisted living and nursing facilities in the town have the alert radios to keep them informed about significant changes in the weather.

Likewise, Razza said there’s also a link to the weather on the Johnston Police Department’s website and urged people to click on DEM and follow the link that monitors the weather in real time.

The StormReady program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership with the local National Weather Service office, state and local emergency managers.

“The [StormReady] program has been credited with saving the lives of more than 50 movie-goers in Van Wert County, Ohio in 2002,” Razza related. “As of June 1, 2011, there were 1,752 Storm Ready sites in 50 states and I’m proud to say Johnston is now on that list.”

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