On the plains of the Texas Panhandle, it pays to be ready for unpredictable and severe weather. The Pantex Plant has risen to that challenge, once again earning recognition from the National Weather Service (NWS) as a StormReady site.
Jose Garcia, meteorologist in charge of the NWS’s Amarillo office, says Pantex was one of the first entities of its kind to become StormReady.
Garcia and other NWS officials were at the plant recently to present Pantex officials with the recertification. He said StormReady status indicates Pantex has the weather sirens, shelters, notification technology and emergency response infrastructure to respond effectively to severe weather.
The StormReady program started in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla., and has since grown to encompass more than 2,000 sites. Pantex was the first nuclear site to earn the designation and remains one of only a handful that has achieved StormReady status.
Pantex has a long history of working with the community, says Alonza Campbell, manager of the Emergency Management Department at Pantex. Pantex maintains contact with the NWS to anticipate storms and other inclement weather conditions. Pantex even uses and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios to alert residents living near the plant of emergency conditions.