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|Ouachita garners 'StormReady' designation|
The National Weather Service in Shreveport has added Ouachita Parish to its StormReady Program, local officials announced earlier this week.
Ouachita Parish was officially designated as a StormReady Community Nov. 1.
Due to the holidays, local officials delayed making the announcement until Monday, Jan. 5.
According to the StormReady program, some 90 percent of all declared disasters are weather related. Also, about 500 people die each year and $14 billion in damage occurs annually due to storms.
StormReady is a program that began in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla., to help provide communities with "the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property, before and during a storm," according to the program's web site.
This is done by providing safety and emergency managers with better planning methods, education and awareness tools to inform the public about storm safety.
StormReady helps educate a community's citizens about what to look for and do prior to and during an emergency event. StormReady communities also are given guidelines on what to do before and during storms to improve the local readiness level and give emergency managers a comprehensive warning system.
One of the biggest advantages of being a StormReady community is having an action plan that addresses the threat of all types of severe weather.
Ouachita Parish became the 10th StormReady parish in the state along with Acadia, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, St. Charles, St. Landry and Union parishes.