StormZone has launched an e-commerce website (www.stormzone.us) that helps educators, students and the public with disaster preparedness planning and recovery. It includes severe weather information, the role of emergency management services and the long-term impact of global climate change.
“In any conversation, the most talked-about topic is weather, whether it is local, national or even international,” said StormZone Director Bay Proby, who founded the program in 2006 and is a Pinecrest resident. “Unfortunately, every year, thousands of Americans find themselves in harm's way from weather disasters such as hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, floods and flash floods and wildfires – as well as earthquakes. No one is exempt. That's why understanding the most dangerous weather threats for your area and actions you should take to protect your property and, in some extraordinary occasions, save your life, is vital. That’s what StormZone provides.”
Proby added that StormZone is also a school-based multidisciplinary science and social studies education program that teaches students about the science of severe natural hazards – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and flash floods, severe winter weather, extreme heat, wildfires, and earthquakes – and how emergency management agencies work with federal, state and local governments to prepare for and recover from such disasters. “Within this StormZone framework is an interactive exercise where students form their own local governments and plan how to recover from a major weather event. Through this exercise, students learn about the role of emergency management, the importance of individual responsibility, organizational collaboration and project management skills when confronted with a disaster,” Prody said.
To help students and their families become “storm ready,” the program provides a Disaster Survival Kit that lists basic supplies for use at home or in case of evacuation. Also included is a Family Communication Plan for family members to contact one another in case they are separated. Finally, StormZone informs people how to become American Red Cross volunteers who receive specialized training in disaster service, shelter management and staffing and mass care (food and water).