BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot County on Tuesday became the second county in New England to be designated StormReady by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The only other county to have received the designation is Washington County, according to Michael Cantin of the National Weather Service in Caribou.
“It recognizes that we do utilize the tools we have to be able to put out information to citizens about serious weather events quickly,” said Michelle Tanguay, deputy director for Penobscot County Emergency Management Agency.
Tanguay said that her agency communicates with municipalities throughout the county about severe and prolonged weather events rather than the thunderstorm that downed trees and power lines Monday afternoon. She cited spring flooding, ice storms and blizzards as the kinds of events about which her agency would alert mu-nicipal officials and first responders through faxes and e-mail.
Monday’s storm was sudden, Tanguay said, but not severe or prolonged by emergency management standards.
The StormReady program began in 1997. It serves as a method to test the weather hazard preparedness level of emergency management agencies, according to information provided by NOAA.
To be considered StormReady the agency must show it has an in-depth plan relating to hazardous weather and several methods to receive, understand and distribute weather hazard information. It also must show it has taken an active role in teaching safety in its region.