The Cocopah Indian Tribe is the first in the state of Arizona to be certified by the National Weather Service as being both a Weather-Ready nation and StormReady.
KAWC’S Stephanie Sanchez reports.
The Cocopah Indian Tribe consists of three reservations that span over 65 acres in Yuma County.
Dust storms, thunder storms and heat waves are serious threats in the region, especially during monsoon season.
Cocopah Emergency Manager Mike Fila said the designations encourage the tribe to take a new, proactive approach to extreme weather.
They want to strengthen partnerships and improve community resilience when hazards strike.
"In September of 2015 we had a flooding event when the county received about 5.8 inches of rain in about 4 ½ hours ," Fila said, "So when that happened that kind of showed us that we really need to be on top of the weather because it can change within a few seconds.”
Cocopah Councilwoman Rosa J. Long said the StormReady designation is a milestone for the Cocopah Tribe.
"It has just been phenomenal of what we have been able to achieve," Long said. "I hope this is trend for other tribal communities to follow on and be able to provide for their people in safeguarding them.”
The Weather-Ready nation and StormReady designation comes a year after the Cocopah tribe became the first in the nation to join the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.