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April 5, 2019

National Weather Service Recognizes Muscogee (Creek) Nation as StormReady Tribal Nation

OKMULGEE, Okla. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation was recently designated as a StormReady Tribal Nation by the Tulsa National Weather Service Forecast Office making the MCN the first Oklahoma tribe to earn the NWS recognition.

The NWS StormReady Program is a voluntary partnership between local NWS offices and emergency management communities, such as the MCN Emergency Management.

The program objective is to promote a proactive community effort to bring hazardous weather awareness and strengthen hazardous weather operations for communities nationwide.

NWS officials presented the StormReady recognition to the Nation during a special ceremony, which MCN Principal Chief James R. Floyd and Emergency Management Supervisor James Nichols accepted on the Nation’s behalf.

In order to receive the program designation, counties, tribal nations, military bases and other communities must have an effective emergency management team that has implemented a formal Hazardous Weather Operations Plan including a 24-hour warning point and emergency operation center.

In addition to alerting the public through multiple severe weather warnings, a StormReady community must also educate community members on how they can best prepare and respond quickly to warnings.

“Communities have fewer fatalities and lower property damage if they plan for disasters that potentially threaten them before the disaster occurs,” said Ed Calianese, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the Tulsa NWS Office. “No community is storm proof but StormReady is designed to help communities save lives and it has proven its effectiveness in communities across the country that have been affected by violent weather.”

For Nichols and the rest of the Nation’s Emergency Management team, receiving the StormReady recognition was a significant achievement.

“We worked hard to get this; we saw what we needed to do to earn the designation,” Nichols said. “We already had the majority of it in place so we put a few more things in place to meet the requirements.”

During the recognition ceremony, Principal Chief Floyd acknowledged Nichols’ and the team’s ongoing efforts and dedication to protecting community and tribal members throughout the MCN jurisdiction.

“We want citizens to know they are safe and informed about potential weather hazards and this Emergency Management team is always working hard when they go out and are the eyes and ears for us,” Principal Chief Floyd said. “We really appreciate the National Weather Service and the relationship we have with them because they have a tremendous responsibility to keep the communities safe.”