By: Curtis Carey (301) 713-0622
To help Americans guard against the ravages of severe weather,
the National Weather Service has designed StormReady, a program
aimed at arming America's communities with the communication
and safety tools necessary to save lives and property.
The entire community - from the mayor, emergency
managers, to business leaders and civic groups - can take
the lead on becoming StormReady. Local National Weather Service
forecast offices work with communities to complete an application
and review process and help them meet specific objectives.
- Ninety percent of all presidentially declared disasters
are weather related. This severe weather results in around
500 (nearly 700 in 1998) deaths per year and nearly $14
billion in direct damage costs. The total economic costs
average over $50 billion per year, according to the National
Science Foundation. The National Weather Service watches
out for the nation during severe weather, but it's what
communities do before the threatening weather strikes that
saves lives and property.
- StormReady addresses the need for a new level of community
awareness to protect life and property from extreme weather.
- The partnership between local National Weather Service
forecasters, the television and radio stations and area
emergency managers saves hundreds of lives every year.
- StormReady improves communication and increases awareness
and preparedness in a community.
(NOTE: FEMA's Project Impact is designed to
make a community more durable against the ravages of severe
weather. StormReady prepares communities to respond to the
threat of severe weather. The programs are complementary.)
- We want every community in the country to know the value
of StormReady. StormReady is an all severe weather program,
from tornadoes, to tsunamis. StormReady in your community
should save lives.
- The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tulsa,
Oklahoma started StormReady as a grassroots effort
to get their communities prepared for severe weather. The
program is now growing nationwide.
- This voluntary local program works so well and holds such
great promise for other communities, we think it will catch
on across the country.
- StormReady provides detailed and clear recommendations
which communities use to improve their hazardous weather
related and public awareness programs. It also gives the
community recognition for their preparedness accomplishments.
- StormReady prepares communities with an action plan that
responds to the threat of all types of severe weather --
from tornadoes to tsunamis.
- The entire community - from the mayor, emergency managers,
to business leaders and civic groups - can take the lead
on becoming StormReady. Local National Weather Service forecast
offices work with communities to complete an application
and review process. To be officially StormReady, a community
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts
and warnings and to alert the public;
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes
training severe weather spotters and holding emergency
- StormReady Certification Process
- An advisory board, comprised of National Weather Service
warning coordination meteorologists, and state and local
emergency managers, will review applications from municipalities
and visit the locations to verify the steps made in the
process to become StormReady.
- StormReady communities must stay freshly prepared, because
the designation is only valid for three years.
- The advisory board seeks to officially designate 20 communities
each year for the next five years as StormReady.
Benefits of NOAA Weather Radio
- An important element of severe weather safety is NOAA
Weather Radio. The National Weather Service broadcast advance
warnings over NOAA Weather Radio for all severe weather.
- We could have the best warnings in the world, but if we
can't alert you to the need to take action they are useless.
- When severe weather strikes, especially at night, NOAA
Weather Radio saves lives. There are many stories of survival
thanks to NOAA Weather Radio. The plant workers in Haysville,
Kansas in May 1999, the large group of fans at a packed
high school gymnasium in BeBe, Arkansas in January 1999,
and a veterinarian's family in Georgia in February 2000,
will all tell you there is no longer any doubt that NOAA
Weather Radio saves lives.
(BACKGROUND: Between 80 to 90 percent of Americans
can receive NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts, however only 5
to 10 percent actually own a NOAA Weather Radio.)
- NOAA Weather Radios should be as common as smoke detectors.
- StormReady is a much needed program and together with
our partners of emergency managers and the broadcast media
we will prepare communities to survive.
Updated: February 27, 2001