On September 25th, Vice Mayor Jon Burgess announced that Homestead has been recertified as a StormReady Community by the National Weather Service. Homestead is only one of four cities in Miami-Dade County to obtain this special recognition.
Vice Mayor Burgess invited Stephen Taylor, Homestead emergency manager — also known as the “Hurricane Man”— to introduce Robert Molleda, warning coordination meteorologist from the National Weather Service. Taylor noted, “We worked hand-in-hand in recertifying Homestead as a StormReady Community.”
Molleda began his presentation by saying, “Normally, when a meteorologist visits a community, people are a little worried. There’s a storm coming or something. I’m here tonight to share some really good news.”
He took a few minutes to talk about what being a StormReady community means. He said, “Homestead has been a StormReady community since 2014. This is the second time that we’ve renewed that recognition.”
The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. Molleda explained, “Basically, it’s working with the city and the city working with us to make sure all the plans and procedures are in place so that we can deal with and handle any weather situation — whether it’s a big hurricane down to a local flood or a local tornado.”
He added, “It’s about weather preparedness — to make sure everyone has the information that’s needed to protect themselves. Homes, families, jobs — everything that’s close to us.”
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and to alert the public; be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs; and ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which include training SKYWARN® weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Molleda read the letter that had been sent to Mayor Shelley by the National Weather Service Miami Forecast Advisory Board announcing the recertification. It stated, “This success is clearly a result of your vision, leadership, hard work and commitment to the residents, visitors and staff of Homestead.” Molleda noted the special contributions of Colonel Scott Kennedy, Major Josh Clott, and Stephen Taylor in the recertification process.
Vice Mayor Burgess concluded, “I think that we proved that we were [storm] ready when Hurricane Irma came through a couple years ago. We do a lot to be ready.”
For more information on hurricane and emergency preparedness in the City of Homestead, go to www.cityofhomestead.com/preparedness.