Bedford has earned the National Weather Service's Storm Ready designation.
The city is only the fourth locality in the area covered by the Weather Service's Blacksburg office, an area that covers 52 communities, to earn that distinction. It's only the 18th locality in Virginia to earn the designation.
What this means, according to Phil Hysell, the Blacksburg office's warning coordination meteorologist, is that Bedford has made specific efforts to be prepared for a natural disaster.
One requirement is a 24-hour emergency warning point and operations center.