National Weather Service Honors Greater Green Valley CERT

Left to right: Ken Drozd, Peggy McGee, Hayes Galitski, Jack Cruikshank, Carole Petty, Linda Reed, and John McGee (photo by Roxe Ann Teiper)

Peggy McGee

The Tucson office of the National Weather Service (NWS) recently announced that the Greater Green Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) had been selected as an Ambassador of Excellence for Southern Arizona for its Weather-Ready Nation program.

Ken Drozd, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Tucson office, nominated CERT. He reported that the judges from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the NWS base the award on the following criteria:

• Engagement/collaboration with NOAA/NWS personnel to increase awareness or preparedness for hazardous weather, water, or climate events

• Promoting Weather-Ready Nation messages and themes

• Sharing success stories of preparedness and resiliency

• Serving as an example by educating employees on workplace preparedness

The award citation read, “NWS Tucson recognized the Greater Green Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) as the 2023 Ambassador of Excellence in Southeast Arizona for their efforts to prepare the public for hazards relating to extreme weather. Green Valley CERT educates members of the community about weather safety and interacts with the National Weather Service to increase awareness. They collaborate with the NWS, utility companies, and other organizations active in disasters to host an annual preparedness fair, which educates the community. Another example of Green Valley CERT’s efforts to promote a Weather-Ready Nation was their participation in a recent Monsoon Madness Forum organized by the Green Valley Council where community members were able to learn about monsoon dangers and preparations from CERT personnel, the NWS, and other public safety officials. Members also make an impact in their community by frequently handing out information about heat safety and other topics at a local farmers market. Finally, Green Valley CERT not only regularly trains its members, but extends this training to the public by hosting monthly meetings on subjects such as NWS SKYWARN Spotter training and monsoon sandbag training.

Fortunately, in Southern Arizona there are rarely any large-scale weather-related disasters, so CERT President Peggy McGee said the award came as a complete surprise when Ken Drozd told her he had nominated CERT for the award. McGee said team members were honored by the award because it’s rare that training and outreach efforts get recognized like this.

For more information about CERT, please visit their website