NOAA 2005-R221
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Greg Romano
3/7/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA RECOGNIZES LINCOLN CITY, ORE., AS TSUNAMIREADY AND STORMREADY

Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service recognized the city of Lincoln City, Ore., as a leader by naming it among the agency’s StormReady and TsunamiReady communities today. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“StormReady and TsunamiReady encourage communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving public awareness and local response to hazardous situations, to include tsunamis,” said Tyree Wilde, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Portland, Ore. “TsunamiReady arms communities with improved communication, education and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”

The community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather, flooding threats and tsunamis. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between the local NWS office and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 850 StormReady communities in 47 states and 16 TsunamiReady communities along the West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska.

At a recognition ceremony in Lincoln City, Steve Todd, meteorologist-in-charge of the NOAA National Weather Service office in Portland, Ore., presented special TsunamiReady and StormReady signs to city officials. The StormReady and TsunamiReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the county will go through a recertification process.

“Preparation and advance warning are vital factors in tsunami readiness. Citizens in a seaside community, such as Lincoln City, which is in an area prone to earthquakes, must understand the importance of moving to high ground or inland immediately in case a tsunami occurs,” said Jay Wilson, earthquake and tsunami program manager for Oregon State Emergency Management.

“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 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 and TsunamiReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • Have more than one way to receive tsunami and severe weather warnings and forecasts 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 and the West Coast of the U.S. is prone to tsunamis from earthquake activity in the Pacific Ocean. The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these events, and StormReady and TsunamiReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country,” said Wilde.

“Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather or tsunamis. 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,” Wilde continued.

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

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

Images of the StormReady and TsunamiReady signs and more program information are available at: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/signs.htm