|Hazardous weather and wind storms can mean downed trees |
in park campgrounds. With the StormReady program, park
staff communicate early and often with campers and help
them identify nearby storm shelters. (DNR photos)
When a severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging hail and 60-mph winds rolled through Yankee Springs State Recreation Area on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon in late July, park rangers were faced with a daunting task: ensuring the safety of the hundreds of visitors enjoying the park’s campgrounds, picnic areas and lakes.
After a flurry of activity – directing visitors to storm shelters, checking on the welfare of campers, avoiding trees that were toppled by the wind, and assessing other damage to the park – the weather eventually calmed and it became clear to the rangers that their mission had been accomplished.
Everyone was safe and sound, and the park’s rangers could point to their diligent planning and preparations throughout the day as central to the success of their efforts.
According to the park’s manager, the happy ending can be partly attributed to the National Weather Service’s “StormReady” program – a voluntary initiative that helps emergency managers and community leaders strengthen local safety and preparedness measures by ensuring they have the latest technology and communication tools (such as weather radios, emergency sirens and PA systems) in place to deal with sudden severe weather events.
|As part of the StormReady program, park staff |
are prepared to assist campers with evacuations
to avoid injuries from falling trees and other hazards.
|Advance warning of impending severe weather |
gives campers a chance to batten down the
hatches and take shelter before a storm hits.
|An emergency siren is installed at Muskallonge |
Lake State Park as part of the StormReady program.
Sirens have been used at the park to warn campers
of wind storms and other severe weather
approaching off Lake Superior.
|Emergency sirens and PA systems are important |
StormReady components that keep park visitors
informed and safe during severe weather events.
- Bay City
- Fort Custer
- Charles Mears
- Orchard Beach
- Otsego Lake
- Port Austin Harbor
- Silver Lake
- Tippy Dam
- Traverse City
- William Mitchell State Park.