NOAA 03-R299-53
Contact: Susan A. Weaver
NOAA News Releases 2003
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On Monday, Nov. 17, Fairfax County, Va., became the first county in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be classified “StormReady” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service. The designation means Fairfax County has met all communication, safety and preparedness criteria necessary to help people within the community receive weather warnings and respond to future weather-related events. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

At a ceremony at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, Barbara Watson, acting meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sterling, Va. and David Manning, the severe weather team leader, commended the county’s efforts to enhance its hazardous weather operations. They also presented a certificate of recognition, a certification letter and two StormReady road signs to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

StormReady is a voluntary program that helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives-before and during a weather event. StormReady communities, which number over 600 in 46 states, must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one method to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and alert the public, and promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars, among other criteria.

“Fairfax County has taken an important step in protecting its residents. By taking an aggressive planning and preparedness approach, Fairfax County and their close partnership with the National Weather Service will help save lives and property during the next outbreak of severe weather,” said Watson.

Recognizing that NOAA Weather Radio is an integral part of being StormReady, Fairfax County has placed NOAA Weather Radios in schools, county government buildings, parks and other facilities. These radios have a special alert feature that sounds a tone when NOAA=s National Weather Service issues a severe weather or flood warning.

Fairfax County is a community of one million residents and has experienced tornadoes, floods and damaging windstorms. Watson stated, “While StormReady is designed to prepare communities, the actions of an individual often mean the difference between life and death. Just like communities, families and individuals need to be ready by having an action plan for severe weather events.”

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s 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 economy.

NOAA 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.

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