Weakley County Schools has joined the list of Mid-South organizations recognized as “StormReady Supporters” by the National Weather Service. “StormReady Supporter” is a national program to recognize schools, businesses, venues, and other such entities that have met or exceeded specified guidelines in severe weather preparedness and operations. There are approximately 900 StormReady Supporters in the country and 51 in Tennessee.
“The StormReady Supporter program was designed to recognize those organizations that had gone above and beyond in their severe weather preparedness,” said Gary Woodall, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Memphis. “Schools are a vulnerable target for severe weather, due to the high concentration of people at the campuses. We commend the leadership at Weakley County Schools for their efforts in achieving this recognition. More importantly, the students, parents, faculty, and staff should take pride in knowing that the district is doing all it can to keep safe during severe weather.”
To achieve the recognition, Weakley County Schools completed an application and review process. The review criteria included the existence of a severe weather plan, methods to receive watches and warnings and disseminate them through the campuses, and safety and preparedness activities.
“This designation is a vote of confidence regarding our preparedness in protecting our students and staff during inclement weather,” said Lorna Benson, Coordinator of Safe Schools. “As an added bonus, we could benefit from a slight reduction in our insurance rates and the designation would certainly enhance our grant requests for retrofitting or reinforcing buildings with storm shelter areas.”
The Weakley County Schools recognition was formalized at a ceremony on Wednesday at the district office in Dresden. In comments to the school safety coordinators and staff who helped achieve the status, Woodall added a reminder to his praise, “Storm ready doesn’t mean storm proof,” he said. “But this designation indicates preparedness for the next incident.”
Benson, Weakley County Schools director and assistant director Randy Frazier and Jeff Kelley received the framed certificates denoting the safety status.
(Karen Campbell, Weakley County Schools Communications Director)
(photo: (back row, left to right) SRO Steve Fulcher, Brittany Kendall, Donald Ray High, Patresa Rogers, Brittany Jaco, Danny Giles, Lisa Beam, Jeff Cupples, Robert Browning; (front row, left to right) SRO Jimmy Brown, Kelsey Hopper, Brenda Randolph, Amy Glasgow, Randy Frazier, Jeff Kelley, Lorna Benson, Gary Woodall, Stacy Williams, and Samantha Wright. (Not shown but also Safe School Coordinators: Justin West, Scott Moran, Jason Stephens, Matt Butler, and Brian Allen)