Talladega Superspeedway is the first racetrack in the United States to earn the National Weather Service (NWS) StormReady® Supporter designation, which recognizes the facility for its severe weather safety plan and for promoting severe weather safety awareness through the principles of the NWS StormReady® program.
Local NWS forecast offices encourage entire communities to participate in the StormReady® program, which consists of community leaders learning to better prepare for severe weather through planning, education and awareness, followed by an application and review process. Talladega Superspeedway's designation as a StormReady® Supporter is an extension of that larger community effort, according to Jason B. Wright, Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM), NWS, Birmingham, Ala.
"Businesses, schools and other non-governmental entities often establish severe weather safety plans and actively take part in and promote severe weather safety awareness activities. An entity that promotes the principles and guidelines of the StormReady® program may be eligible to become a StormReady® 'Supporter.' Talladega Superspeedway is the first racetrack in the country to receive this recognition," Wright said.
Based on the bylaws of the local NWS StormReady® Advisory Board and an endorsement from local emergency management, Talladega Superspeedway was deemed eligible for the designation, then received final approval of its application from the local StormReady® Advisory Board. In addition to the track's existing hazardous weather plan, all full-time employees participated in training sessions to learn more about storm formation, lightning safety, flash flood precautions and general severe weather preparedness.
In addition to the efforts of the speedway, Talladega County EMA and the Talladega County Commission played a huge role in assisting with this accreditation. They were instrumental in allowing the placement of three Warning Sirens to provide 100% coverage at the track, authorization of Tone Alert Warning radios to be installed at numerous locations on speedway property, allowing Talladega EMA to activate the Emergency Operations Center for support and coordination during track events, and by providing authorization to request additional State of Alabama and Federal resources to be available during events, consisting of the National Guard, State EMA and FEMA response.
"We are proud to be the first racetrack in the country to earn the National Weather Service StormReady® Supporter designation and appreciate the efforts of the Talladega County Commission and the Talladega County EMA, because it reinforces our existing commitment to the safety of our guests during event weekends at Talladega Superspeedway," said Talladega Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Rick Humphrey. "We hope that our effort as an organization also raises awareness about the need for severe weather preparedness in general and encourage our fans to create severe weather plans for home and work in order to protect themselves and their families."
For more information on the StormReady® and StormReady® Supporter programs, visit the NWS StormReady website at www.stormready.noaa.gov.
Talladega Superspeedway officials are preparing for an exciting year of racing here at NASCAR's Most Competitive Track. The 2007 Aaron's Dream Weekend is set for April 27-29, and features the Aaron's 312
NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, April 28 and the Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday, April 29. Kids age 11 and younger are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA (462-3342) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT, or by logging onto www.racetickets.com. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). You may also purchase tickets in person at Talladega
Superspeedway's Ticket Office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT, Monday-Friday.