Harris County Emergency Operations Center Hosts Inaugural Weather Rangers Hurricane Simulation

(Houston, Texas) – More than 40 Hamilton Middle School students will be participating in the first ever Weather Rangers Hurricane Simulation at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) emergency operations center (EOC). The event will take place on Monday, October 9, 2019 and is sponsored by StormZone.

“We are incredibly excited to host the Weather Rangers from Hamilton Middle School for their Hurricane simulation at our Emergency Operations Center,” said Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Sloan. “This will be a great opportunity for these students to learn about the roles and responsibilities of emergency management and the various agencies involved in response to natural disasters.”

StormZone is a school-based multidisciplinary science and social studies program made for middle and high school students. The students are responsible for teaching their classmates and community about the importance of natural disaster preparedness and community volunteerism. Their student workforce, known as Weather Rangers, participate in a variety of activities to achieve this mission. These activities include community outreach, coordination of an on-campus Weather Expo event, and a storm simulation at a local EOC.

“The students will assume the roles of Harris County Emergency Management and respond to fictitious Hurricane Nicole impacts across the county,” said StormZone Meteorologist Erik Salna. “They are expected to respond and work through various challenges related to the hurricane, including evacuations, vehicle accidents, stranded motorists, fires, damaged homes, flooded neighborhoods, rescues of people and even escaped animals from the Houston Zoo.” The goal of the event is for students to learn the functions and roles of emergency management, meteorologists, media, and elected officials and how they work together through problem solving, decision making, and communications.

The Harris County EOC was selected for this exercise because of the long history of flood events and hurricanes in the area. The experiential knowledge offered by staff will be of great use to the students, who will be mentored throughout the exercise.

To learn more about StormZone and the Weather Rangers program, visit www.stormzone.us.

For information on how to prepare for hurricane season go to www.readyharris.org.