NOAA05-R299-12
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Slattery
10/4/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA DECLARES HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF., STORMREADY

Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised the City of Huntington Beach, Calif., for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady.

“StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event,” said Ed Clark, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service forecast office in San Diego.

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 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 940 StormReady communities in 47 states.

During the Huntington Beach City 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 city officials. The StormReady recognition remains in effect for three years and then the city will go through a renewal process.

“StormReady provides the opportunity for our city to review and improve its plans and ability to get emergency watches and warnings to public safety personnel and to review our capability to disseminate warnings to the public,” said Glorria Morrison, emergency services coordinator.

“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, 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; and
  • 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,” Clark said.

“Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service hopes to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes, because, ultimately, it is each individual’s responsibility to protect himself or herself,” Clark emphasized.

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: http://www.noaa.gov

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

An image of the StormReady sign and more program information is available at:
http://www.stormready.noaa.gov