SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — Surry County is now a StormReady Community.
The National Weather Service gave the county the designation earlier this week. The designation means the county is better prepared to handle natural disasters.
"Part of being Storm Ready is a collaborative effort among all of the different agencies that would be included in managing a storm," Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said.
Those agencies include law enforcement, fire and EMS, school systems, city governments, social services, and the health department.
"The one thing that we absolutely want to do as a top priority is to take care of the citizens in the county," Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said.
As the director, he's responsible for making sure the county is safe before, during, and after an emergency. And that means making sure the community is aware of what's heading their way, especially when it comes to severe weather.
"So being able to communicate with them, get the information out there, give them a state of readiness that we have in place, reassure them that we will manage the problem as best we can," Shelton said.
The county has a number of ways to contact residents. They have a reverse 911 system called Hyper-Reach that sends emergency notifications straight to your phone or email.
"We also have a public safety portal that you can access on the county's website that will give you onboard information about what the county is doing and where most of that storm activity is. It will give you shelter information," Shelton said.
Shelton said he's grateful the National Weather Service recognizes the work they've put in.
"Yes, we are very excited about it. We think that's a credit to people working together as a team," Shelton said.