NOAA05-R279
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marcie Katcher
7/6/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
DECLARES CAMPBELL COUNTY, KENTUCKY., STORMREADY

Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised Campbell County, Ky., for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady.

“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Ken Haydu, meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Wilmington, Ohio. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”

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 local NWS offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 910 StormReady communities in 47 states.

At the Campbell County Commissioner’s meeting this evening, Haydu will present a recognition certificate 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.

“By being better prepared from the onslaught of severe weather through dedicated planning, education, and awareness, the StormReady program is helping Campbell County advance its philosophy of ‘building a disaster resistant community’. No community is disaster proof, but the StormReady program can help Campbell County save lives,” said Ken Knipper, director, Emergency Management Agency, Campbell County, Ky.

“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States annually, and hurricanes are a threat to the Gulf and East Coasts. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”

To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • 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 seminars;
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.


“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,” said Haydu.

“Just like communities, 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 himself or herself,” Haydu added.

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.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov

StormReady program information and signage: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov