The National Weather Service has designated Bloomington's Central Illinois Regional Airport as "StormReady." The special designation means the airport operations staff works closely with local emergency officials to get the word out about severe weather and its potential impact. Chris Miller, a meteoroligst with NWS in Lincoln, says many companies, organizations and communities meet several of the StormReady standards, but might fall short in one or two areas.
"Maybe they haven't thought of a sheltering location that's the best and we can come in and take a look at that, or their local Red Cross, fire department and emergency management agency can come in and say, 'no actually you'd probably be safer if you were in this location or a different location.'"
Miller say says the official designation means CIRA is ready to warn visitors and staff who are probably too busy to check on worsening weather conditions.
"They've got your back. You've got the piece of mind that when you're here, they're watching everything around here and if they need to notify people, they're going to notify you. They've got multiple ways of doing that, and they're gonna keep you safe."
Besides shelter, a StormReady designee must provide a 24-hour warning system, have trained spotters on hand and conduct preparedness campaigns. Miller says all State Farm Insurance offices in Bloomington are StormReady, as are the communities of Peoria and Morton. CIRA is the first downstate airport to be StormReady and only the second in the state.
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