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The NOAA National Weather Service has recognized Agilent Technologies, Inc., for its severe weather safety plans and has presented the company with a certificate recognizing it as the nation’s first “NWS StormReady Supporter” location. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Representatives from the NWS Spokane office in Washington commended Agilent for its efforts to enhance its hazardous weather safety operations plans, and for assisting the NWS in developing a new prototype program that is scheduled to become operational later this year. A certificate presentation took place at Agilent Technologies in Spokane today.
“Agilent was selected to be the prototype organization for a new NWS program that acknowledges businesses, hospitals, schools, shopping centers and malls, nuclear power plants and other entities that promote severe weather safety in their operations plans,” said John Livingston, meteorologist in charge at the NWS weather forecast office in Spokane. “These organizations actively promote and participate in severe weather safety awareness activities for their employees and visitors.”
“I am pleased that Agilent was willing to work with the NWS to help test our new StormReady Supporter program,” said Steve Kuhl, NWS National StormReady program manager in Silver Spring, Md. “This program was developed to allow local NWS offices and their StormReady Advisory Boards to recognize organizations that promote severe weather safety, but do not have the resources necessary to fulfill the eligibility guidelines of the full StormReady program.” When a local NWS StormReady Advisory Board identifies an entity that promotes the principles and guidelines of the StormReady program in their severe weather safety and awareness plans, the board can decide if that organization is eligible to be recognized as a StormReady Supporter. This is a voluntary program on the part of both the NWS and the applying organizations.
“The StormReady program provides counties and communities with clear-cut weather warning and preparedness advice through a partnership between the NWS and emergency managers,” said Ken Holmes, warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Spokane. “The program helps communities or organizations develop systems and plans to handle local severe weather in any season.”
Agilent has 28,000 employees and they are located in more than one hundred sites throughout the world. Agilent serves customers in more than 110 countries and delivers innovative technologies, solutions and services to a wide range of customers in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. They have the infrastructure to support such a diverse work environment. Securitas Security Services, Agilent’s safety department staff in Spokane, has created a comprehensive program that ensures their employees are aware of the weather safety requirements for their specific location. Their program could be a model for other large employers to follow who have employees working at multiple locations.
NWS officials said some unique aspects of the Agilent weather safety program include a monthly newsletter to their employees that features weather information and weather safety articles, an enhanced internal and external radio communications system, purchase and placing of NOAA Weather Radios, along with a well developed emergency action plan for dealing with severe weather. Recently this plan enabled them to receive severe thunderstorm warnings for the area on NOAA Weather Radio, pager or email and then disseminate the information to their staff.
"We are very excited about being the first recognized Storm Ready Supporter in the Nation and hope to furnish an example for other Agilent facilities and larger companies throughout the local area and the country," said Jay Pitt, an Agilent Technologies program manager.
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