News Releases 2004
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service recognized Elk County, Pa., as a leader by naming it to be among the agency's “StormReady” counties today. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“StormReady encourages counties to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness,” said Bruce Budd, meteorologist-in-charge at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in State College, Pa. “Pennsylvania and Elk County have a long history of severe weather. The state experiences about a dozen weather-related fatalities per year and we are working hard to reduce that number.”
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary, and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between the local NWS Weather Forecast Office and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 750 StormReady communities in 47 states.
At the regularly scheduled Elk County commissioners meeting today, NWS officials presented a StormReady recognition letter and special StormReady signs to county officials. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the county will go through a recertification process.
“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” said retired Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and 10 hurricanes impact the United States annually. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why the National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
“The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world. The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country,” Budd said.
“Just like counties, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual's responsibility to protect him or herself,” he said.
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s 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.
NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr
An image of the
StormReady sign and more program information is available at http://www.stormready.noaa.gov