EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Ready for the storm by becoming “StormReady”. Bally’s of Evansville received this honor through a special program with the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Christine Wielgos with the National Weather Service in Paducah calls the accomplishment a victory for public safety.

“If you’ve lived here long enough, you know we have plenty of severe weather,” says Wielgos. “So anything you can do to help boost your immunity to these hazardous weather events is always going to be a win-win situation.”

Bally’s Risk and Safety Manager Chris Mayton led the charge to become StormReady. He calls the safety initiative a high priority.

“We are always evaluating our programs and procedures to be as safe and secure as possible here at Bally’s,” explains Mayton, “and that was just another step up to bring our program up to higher standards.”

To become certified, Bally’s was required to complete 5 tasks: establish an emergency operations center, have multiple severe weather notification systems, create a weather monitoring system, promote public readiness through seminars, and develop a formal severe weather plan including storm spotter training and emergency exercises. Mayton says many of those protocols were already in place, including the notification system “Everbridge”.

“We have a notification system that we get in touch with everybody on our property pretty well within minutes, actually seconds,” explains Mayton.

Bally’s also becomes the first casino in the country to receive StormReady status. Wielgos says with thousands of guests at any given weekend, Bally’s holds a high level of responsibility.

“They’re keeping track of when bad weather’s going to be imminent,” says Wielgos. “Is there a tornado warning, a severe thunderstorm warning? And they’re letting them know what channels to turn into, giving them information that they may not have had prior to stepping foot on this property.”

The StormReady accreditation is valid for 4 years. Bally’s will be able to re-certify in 4 year increments. More information about the StormReady program can be found on the National Weather Service’s website.