FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Trumbla
News Releases 2005
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised the Mayes County, Okla., emergency management team for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being declared StormReady.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Ed Calianese, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in Tulsa, Okla. “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 the local National Weather Service forecast 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.
At the Mayes County Courthouse in Pryor today, Steven Piltz, meteorologist-in-charge of the Tulsa forecast office, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to county officials. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the county will go through a renewal process.
“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:
“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,” Piltz said.
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: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
StormReady sign and program information: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov
Weather Service in Tulsa, Okla.: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tsa/