The National Weather Service has recertified Forsyth County as a StormReady community, indicating that it has continued to maintain a high level of severe weather preparedness.
Danny Bowman, the county’s fire chief and emergency management agency director, said in a statement that it’s “a great honor to achieve.”
“This recognition is a reflection of the hard work that goes into preparing our county for severe weather situations,” he said.
The weather service first designated Forsyth as a StormReady community in 2007. It’s one of 74 counties in Georgia to have the designation.
To be recognized, a county must meet weather service and state and local emergency management criteria. Among them, it must have a local 24-hour warning point and an emergency operations center, as well as several ways of receiving weather service warnings.
In addition, it must be able to monitor local weather and river conditions and have several ways to alert the public.
The program ensures the warning system performs properly when severe weather strikes.
The system has three parts: the weather service, which issues the warnings; local emergency management, which ensures the warnings are communicated; and the general public, who respond to the warnings.
StormReady recognizes the counties in which this system is most likely to perform well.
Since its original certification, Forsyth has taken additional measures to prepare for severe weather.
In 2011, the local emergency management agency began offering weather alert notifications.
In 2009, the county activated new outdoor severe weather sirens. In 2012, five additional sirens were added, bringing the total to 17.