OGDEN -- After two years of work, Weber County Emergency Management presented an addition to the County Emergency Operations Plan that will make it easier to warn residents of severe weather.
The Weber County Commission approved the new Hazardous Weather Plan on Tuesday at its regular weekly meeting.
Eli Johnson, with the Weber County Emergency Management and Homeland Security unit, presented the plan to the commission.
Major elements of the plan include more emergency radios, better communication with the public and training to recognize potentially dangerous weather.
"It makes sense," Johnson said. "It helps us provide better service to the citizens at large."
Emergency Management and Homeland Security personnel say the plan will improve protection and response to a weather-related disaster.
"The concept of the storm-ready program is geared more to disseminating information regarding hazardous weather events instead of flood response activities," Johnson said.
In case of severe weather, emergency personnel can inform residents in advance to move to a shelter.
All county departments must include the plan as part of their emergency responsibilities.
Johnson said the county has worked on the plan for the last two years and that it predates last spring's flooding problems.
With the new plan came more training from the National Weather Service for Emergency Management staff and volunteers. The training included identifying hazardous weather patterns.
"With the education and training that occurred," Johnson said, "most people can look at the sky and see the weather that can be a precursor to a hazardous event."
The county also received grants from Homeland Security to provide emergency alert radios to all of the schools in the Ogden and Weber school districts and other emergency operation centers, as well as visual alert radios for the hearing-impaired community.
The plan would also help the county if it decides to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Association's Community Rating System Program, which recognizes community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements.
Officials are still investigating what the specific benefits would be.
Currently, Weber County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, but it is not among the dozen counties in the state that participate in the rating system program.
The Emergency Management and Homeland Security unit plans to go before the commission in the near future and request to participate in that rating program.