Safe Place in a Storm

Staff Report

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Lt. Col. Allen Boone and Maj. Jeffrey Hendricks, along with Soldiers from the Guard Training Center, received framed certificates and a ‘Storm Ready’ sign that will be posted at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky. February 22, 2016. (Courtesy Photo)

Greenville, Ky. –The Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center (WHFRTC) part of the Garrison Training Center-KY (GTC-KY) was recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) & NOAA on Feb. 22, 2016 for becoming certified as a member of the “Storm Ready Community.”

The National Weather Service’s (NWS) “Weather-Ready Nation” initiative is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. Roughly 98% of all presidential disaster declarations are weather and flood related, leading to over 500 deaths, 2,500 injuries and nearly $24 billion in damages each year (sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and Munich Reinsurance Company). The devastating impacts of extreme events can be reduced through improved readiness. The StormReady® program (www.stormready.noaa.gov) is a partnership with emergency management that helps reduce risk and increases community resilience to hazards.

Rick Shanklin, with the National Weather Service said the WHFRTC certification shows a commitment by the Ken­tucky National Guard to strengthen its emergency management capabili­ties and protect personnel within the facility.

“In times of crisis, it is important to have people trained and ready to step up,” Shanklin said. “Guard Soldiers have a mission related to emergency management, but this facility is also set up to serve as a central point in times of emergency.”

Lt. Col. Allen Boone, who is the base operations officer at WHFRTC, said 10 Soldiers at the center are now certified weather spotters, further enhancing the mission of the National Guard.

“I was here in 2008 and I know what that tornado was like,” he said. “This certification prepares this facility, as well as giving the community a peace of mind that we are watching the skies.”

Maj. Jeff Hendricks, the former provost marshal and emergency manager for WHFRTC, said the process to become certified began more than a year ago and was logical for the facility.

“The U.S. Army had already mandated emergency management plans for each facility in the nation, so the two fit well together,” he said.

“It was not an easy process to be certain, but it was a worthwhile one.” Hendricks, who now serves as the Kentucky National Guard’s S-2 (Intelligence) officer, said he was inspired to seek the certification after seeing a news report about Indiana’s Holiday World achieving StormReady.

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