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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between StormReady and FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program?
A: StormReady is a voluntary program separate from FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program; however, the two programs compliment each other by focusing on communication, mitigation and community preparedness to save lives.

Q: Is StormReady a grant program?
A: No. There is no grant money associated with being recognized as StormReady. See the next question for National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System discounts.

Q: With regard to the NWS StormReady program, I've heard that some communities may be eligible for rate reductions in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). How do I find out more, and how does my community apply for rate reductions?
A: FEMA manages the NFIP. As part of the NFIP, the "Community Rating System" (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain activities which exceed minimum NFIP requirements. Provide your regional NFIP representative a copy of the StormReady recognition letter.  See below for "NFIP Contact" information, and to obtain additional information on the NFIP and CRS:

Q: Will it cost my community anything?
A: There is no fee for StormReady recognition, however your community may need to upgrade its emergency preparedness infrastructure to qualify for StormReady status.

Q: Is other funding (beside the NWS) available to help us become/improve our StormReady program? (i.e., government/private sector?)
A: NWS does not provide any funding; however, other government and/or private sector partners may work with your community to upgrade your emergency preparedness operations.

Q: Why is the NWS requiring me to do this?
A: StormReady is a voluntary program, but we think it is worth your investment because it can save lives and property. The NWS recognizes those communities that are better prepared for weather emergencies.

Q: I saw the StormReady guidelines on the national website. Why does my local NWS Office have different guidelines?
A: National StormReady guidelines set minimum requirements for the program. Many local areas have specific weather-related needs that local NWS Offices consider during weather emergency planning. As a result, StormReady allows the creation of Local StormReady Advisory Boards that have the flexibility to create specific by-laws for their area. Local Boards also can modify National StormReady guidelines to meet their specific customer needs.

Q: What constitutes a community?
A: The StormReady program defines "community" as a group of people within a locality that have common social and economic interests with an infrastructure that seeks to protect lives and property. References to "community" in this document include cities, towns, universities, Indian Nations, and government and private entities. References to county includes parish.

Q. Can I hire a service provider from America's weather industry to meet any of the StormReady guidelines?
A. Absolutely, you may use data and services provided by America's weather undustry to meet the StormReady guidelines. The NWS is concerned that you are prepared for hazardous weather and will gladly interact with your service provider in the same way that we would interact with you. Your service provider may also want to talk to us about availability of local weather information to meet your needs.

Q: OK, I meet the requirements. When do I get my sign?
A: Once you meet the requirements, you will send the application to the NWS. From there it will go to your Local StormReady Advisory Board made up of Emergency Managers, the NWS, and other local/state officials. The board will review the application, and set up a site visit to verify the information in the application. When the local board approves you application, your local WCM will request your sign, which should arrive in about a week.

Q: How long is my StormReady recognition good for?
A: StormReady recognition is granted for a period of 3 years from the date your local NWS Office Meteorologist-In-Charge signs your communities official recognition letter.

Q: Where can I post my StormReady signs?
A: Emergency Operations Centers, courthouses, libraries, town halls or other public facilities. Some communities have posted their signs along highways; however, if you are considering posting your signs along highways, first consult county or state road departments regarding restrictions.

Q: I understand that StormReady guidelines may be updated annually. Which set of guidelines will be applied to my application?
A: The guidelines that are in effect at the time you initially applied will be used to evaluate your application.

Q: What are the requirements for re-recognition?
A: Renewals require a community to go through the application process again. This helps to ensure that equipment is in place and updated, contact information is accurate, and allows for improvements to be made to the program using technological advances in communications and warning dissemination. Your Local NWS office will send a letter informing the community of the upcoming renewal date and direct them to current StormReady guidelines and applications.

Q: I've heard of a program called TsunamiReady. Are StormReady and TsunamiReady the same thing?
A: TsunamiReady is a companion program to StormReady that promotes tsunami hazard preparedness as an active collaboration among federal, state, and local emergency management agencies, the public, and the NWS tsunami warning system. The preparedness guidelines of the two programs differ slightly but both are designed to improve public safety during severe weather and tsunami emergencies.

Q: How to I order more StormReady or TsunamiReady signs?
A: StormReady communities can purchase additional 2x2' signs from the Oklahoma Correction Industries (OCI) at a cost of about $42 each, plus shipping. You must first email, who will let OCI know you are a recognized site and send you ordering information. When ordering, ask for the "National Weather Service StormReady or TsunamiReady Sign".

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Last Updated: September 21, 2015