Thursday, 02 13, 2014
Kentucky’s state park system one of first in the nation to achieve designation
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks were recognized today for working with the National Weather Service to achieve “StormReady” supporter status to keep guests and employees safe when bad weather occurs.
“It’s comforting to know that our Kentucky State Parks are prepared for hazardous weather conditions,” said Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who participated in a ceremony at the Capitol. “We want to keep our guests, neighbors and our park employees as safe as possible.”
Some 34 state parks eligible for the “StormReady” designation have been approved, making Kentucky State Parks one of the first parks systems in the nation to do so. To be eligible, parks must have overnight accommodations such as a lodge, cottages or campground. “StormReady” signs have been placed at the 34 parks to assist guests.
The parks also planned and coordinated their efforts with local emergency management agencies to make sure people are safe before and after severe weather occurs.
“The fact that the leaders of our parks system care enough to pursue this distinction speaks volumes to their dedication and pursuit of excellence” said Mike Jones, acting director of Kentucky Emergency Management.
The designated parks have the appropriate communications equipment and have identified safe places for people to go when bad weather is on the way. Parks personnel have also completed necessary training.
At the 17 state resort parks, for example, staff have been trained to contact guests in the lodges and ask them to move to a safe place such as the lodge basement when dangerous weather is approaching. Campground hosts have equipment to alert campers of severe weather and will ask them to move to safe places such as restrooms in the campground. Signs identify buildings that have been designated as storm shelters.
“One of our primary goals is to keep our guests safe,” said Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker, who took part in the ceremony along with Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart. “We appreciate the cooperation of the National Weather Service offices that serve Kentucky as well as the other emergency management agencies who worked with us to achieve this goal.”
Abramson noted that the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee and the National Weather Service have designated the week of March 2-8 as “Severe Weather Awareness Week.”
For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov.