NOAA 03-R299-20
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marilu Trainor
9/4/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


FREMONT COUNTY AND EIGHT IDAHO COMMUNITIES EARN STORMREADY TITLE

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) office in Pocatello, Idaho, has designated Fremont County and eight incorporated cities as StormReady. Fremont County joins the growing number of communities who have recognized the value of the StormReady program in preparing for and protecting their citizens. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

Representatives from the NWS commended Fremont County and the communities of Ashton, Drummond, Island Park, Newdale, Parker, St. Anthony, Teton, and Warm River for their efforts to enhance their hazardous weather operations. A presentation took place in the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony today. Each location received special recognition plaques and StormReady road signs. The StormReady certification for Fremont County and the communities will be in effect for three years to the summer of 2006.

“The StormReady program provides counties and communities with clear-cut weather warning and preparedness advice through a partnership between the National Weather Service and emergency managers,” said Bill Wuthrick, Fremont County disaster services coordinator. “The program is a great approach to help communities develop systems and plans to handle local severe weather in any season. We are excited to be recognized for our readiness capabilities and proud to be associated with the NWS as StormReady partners.”

“The National Weather Service recognized Fremont County for the wide variety of disaster resistant projects that help prepare their citizens and emergency responders for severe weather and flood threats as well as significant winter storms,” said Jim Meyer, Pocatello NWS Weather Forecast Office meteorologist in charge. “Now that Fremont County has achieved this special recognition half of the counties in Idaho have attained StormReady status.” According to Meyer more than 11,500 people live in Fremont County and they, along with those who travel through the county to favored recreation areas, will benefit from the efforts of the county and the National Weather Service.

“There are 624 StormReady locations in 46 states across the nation and Idaho is currently home to 113 StormReady communities. This NOAA program is a great example of federal, state, and local governments working together to prepare counties and communities for severe weather and floods. We have worked closely with the counties and cities to ensure there are multiple ways to warn those who might be in harm’s way during any severe or winter weather event,” said Vernon Preston, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS office in Pocatello.

The StormReady program is credited with saving dozens of lives recently in Van Wert, Ohio. The community met StormReady certification requirements just 11 months before a November 10, 2002 tornado devastated parts of the town. A Van Wert movie theater manager ushered 50 moviegoers to safety after hearing a NWS tornado warning over a special StormReady program emergency radio. The tornado destroyed the building, tossing cars into the front seats where kids and parents were seated moments before.

NOAA weather radios have been placed in public access buildings, school districts, emergency communication centers, as well as many individual residences throughout the county. Local broadcasts of storm warnings are aired over NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio as well as commercial radio and television using the Emergency Alert System. Fremont County may also use this special notification system to provide valuable and timely civil emergency messages and Amber Alerts.

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

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.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov

National Weather Service Pocatello: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pocatello

NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

StormReady Program Information: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov