Contact: Marcie Katcher
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service today praised the emergency management team of Georgia’s McIntosh County for completing a set of rigorous criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being declared StormReady.

“Several Georgia counties have earned the StormReady designation, but McIntosh County is among the latest,” said Jerry Harrison, warning coordination meteorologist of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Charleston, S.C., which serves the McIntosh area. “Through StormReady, the county will be better prepared to help protect the lives and property of its citizens during severe weather events.”

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 offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 950 StormReady communities in 48 states.

The National Weather Service officials will present a StormReady plaque and special StormReady signs to county commissioners and emergency preparedness officials at the county commissioner’s building Oct. 18 at 3:00 p.m. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, at which time the county will go through a recertification process.

“The StormReady program will provide us with an improved weather warning and preparedness service for the county,” said Ray Parker, emergency manager for McIntosh County. “We are excited to be recognized as StormReady and look forward to cooperative weather monitoring with the National Weather Service.”

“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 the NOAA National Weather Service. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States annually. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. McIntosh County should take great pride in having gone the extra mile to provide its residents and visitors with the added measure of protection StormReady affords.”

To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • Have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public;
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally;
  • 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.

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.

Editors Note: An image of the StormReady sign and more program information is available at

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