WRN Ambassador Recognition - DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

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Michelle Lammers
  1. What is the mission of your organization?
    DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will help protect communities and residents within our county by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other human-caused disasters.

  2. What has your organization done to promote a Weather Ready Nation? (i.e. what did your WFO recognize your for?)
    Our organization was recognized for being so highly active in promoting NWS products and services via social media as well as in person through many outreach events. We also were recognized for our work, including sharing NWS Chicago social media posts, and creating our own unique preparedness and hazardous weather information for our website (ProtectDuPage.org) and social media distribution (@ProtectDuPage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).

    With two staff members trained to instruct the Basic Spotter Class, we provided nine spotter classes in our county. Additionally, this past spring we hosted our 25th Annual Advanced Severe Weather Seminar geared toward individuals who will be on the front line of the weather warning system, including spotters, amateur radio operators, emergency management personnel, police, fire, educators, public works and utility workers. This severe weather seminar provides continuing education to trained spotters who wish to broaden their understanding of advanced weather phenomena.

    In addition, this past spring, we coordinated with the NWS Chicago to develop and conduct an Outdoor Event Ready Workshop and tabletop exercise for emergency managers. The Event Ready Program, developed by DuPage OHSEM, guides communities and other organizations in the process of planning, training and facilitating large-scale special events in an effort to protect everyone attending these events.

  3. What does being an Ambassador mean to you?
    Being an Ambassador means being a change agent and leader in our community to inspire others to be better informed and prepared - helping to minimize or even avoid the impacts of extreme weather and other hazards (natural and human-caused). It also means to serve as an example for others to emulate and build resiliency. 

  4. What are your goals for the next year concerning preparedness?

    Some of our goals for the next year concerning preparedness include:
  • Educating residents via many more outreach events, presentations, website/social media posts, etc.,
  • Teaching severe weather spotter classes,
  • Hosting our 26th Annual Advanced Severe Weather Seminar,
  • Encouraging volunteerism (e.g. joining the DuPage County Medical Reserve Corps), and
  • Continue being at the forefront of integrated emergency management.