Contact: Marcie Katcher
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised Orange County, Calif., for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady. Orange County is the most populous StormReady site in California and the second most populous in the U.S.

“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Ed Clark, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service forecast office in San Diego. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property, before and during a hazardous weather 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 through a partnership among the local National Weather Service 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 970 StormReady communities in 48 states.

At the Orange County Emergency Management Council meeting today, Jim Purpura, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in San Diego, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to Sheriff Michael Carona, Orange County’s Director of Emergency Services, and to Supervisor Bill Campbell, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years and then the county will go through a renewal process.

“Orange County prepares for emergencies in a proactive fashion,” said Sheriff Carona. “We feel that the safety of our community is of paramount concern, and the StormReady program helps us to work with our community members so we are all prepared for severe weather. Just like communities, families need to be StormReady by having an action plan for severe weather.”

“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 NWS. “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 National Weather Service mission is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country,” added Clark.

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. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web:


NOAA’s National Weather Service:

National Weather Service forecast office in San Diego:

StormReady program information and signage is available online: