ITD’s Southeastern Idaho Office Earns StormReady Designation for Winter Preparations
POCATELLO – The slick winter-driving season is not yet here, but it soon will be, and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) maintenance crews are already preparing. Looking ahead to apply necessary skills in order to save lives and property is one of the attributes noted by the National Weather Service (NWS) Oct. 1 in awarding ITD’s southeastern Idaho office the coveted StormReady designation.
The Idaho Transportation Department is the only state transportation agency in the country to earn the StormReady designation, which is usually reserved for towns and other municipalities.
To meet StormReady requirements, ITD’s southeastern Idaho district demonstrated emergency preparedness, including communication, equipment, facilities and personnel. The recognition also considered such factors as redundant methods of weather monitoring, trained storm spotters and communication with NWS, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“StormReady is recognition of our preparedness and ability to provide services to the traveling public,” said ITD District 5 Maintenance Coordinator Wayne Curtis. “This is about expanding and strengthening partnerships to enhance safety.”
“D5 has a strong partnership with our local NOAA office, thanks to the efforts of Wayne Curtis of ITD and Vern Preston of NOAA,” said ITD southeastern District Engineer Ed Bala.
“ITD benefits from customized weather modeling and forecasts, along with 24/7 phone access to a meteorologist. NOAA benefits from access to our RWIS sites, which act as small weather stations to extend NOAA’s data collection,” Bala added.
According to the NOAA website, “being part of a Weather-Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. StormReady helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property–before, during and after the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.”
For more information about the National Weather Service StormReady program, go to www.stormready.noaa.gov.
ITD’s southeastern regional office is the second ITD district to achieve the StormReady designation. In 2012, ITD’s District 4 office (south-central Idaho) became the first.