FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marilu Trainor
News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) has designated Nevada’s first “StormReady” locations. Clark County, as well as the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Henderson, and Mesquite, have met the criteria to better prepare local officials and the residents for impending severe weather. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.
During a ceremony today at the NWS Forecast Office in Las Vegas, Meteorologist in Charge Kim Runk said, “StormReady is a great example of federal, state and local governments working together. Kudos to Clark County and the communities for their efforts to enhance hazardous weather operations.
NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Andy Bailey, added, “The efforts of these communities and the NWS will benefit the more than 1.5 million people who live in Clark County and the additional 35 million who visit this area annually by helping to protect them from severe weather.”
Jim O'Brien, Clark County director of Emergency Management, said that the effort developed partnerships with the NOAA National Weather Service and the five cities' emergency coordinators.
O’Brien explained, “In addition to weather threats, the StormReady system blends well with our all-hazards preparedness and warning plans for things like nuclear waste transportation, homeland security risks, and chemical facilities in the county.”
StormReady is a voluntary program that gives communities the skills and education needed to survive severe weather - before and during the event.
The StormReady program includes a 24-Hour Warning Point and Emergency Operations Center, and NOAA Weather Radio receivers in public buildings and available to schools, hospitals and emergency coordinators. A local Emergency Alert System Plan is in place to get warning information to the public. Emergency managers and broadcasters ensure quick reception and distribution of NOAA National Weather Service warnings. This fast action allows people in the community to take measures to protect themselves from harm before severe weather strikes.
According to Bailey, “Flooding, thunderstorms and other weather-related events can be a threat to those who live, work or visit our area. People need to know about conditions that bring on these weather events and what to do when they occur.” NOAA Weather Radios, with the warning alarm feature, are the surest way to stay informed of hazardous weather. Our goal is to have weather radios become as common as smoke detectors.”
The StormReady program saved dozens of lives recently in Van Wert, Ohio. That community met StormReady certification requirements just 11 months before a Nov. 10, 2002, tornado devastated parts of the town. A Van Wert movie theater manager ushered 50 moviegoers to safety after hearing a National Weather Service tornado warning over a special emergency radio. The tornado destroyed the building, tossing cars into the front seats where kids and parents were moments before.
There are more than 580 StormReady communities in 44 states. Seven coastal communities have earned special “TsunamiReady” designations.
NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.
The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
On the Web:
NOAA National Weather Service: http://nws.noaa.gov
National Weather Service StormReady program: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov