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Contact: Jim Teet
News Releases 2006
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service praised the emergency management team of Victorville, Calif., for completing a set of rigorous criteria necessary to earn the StormReady distinction.
“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 San Diego forecast office. “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 voluntary program provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between 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 1,060 StormReady communities across the country.
Jim Purpura, meteorologist-in-charge of the San Diego forecast office, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to city officials at the Victorville City Council meeting. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, after which the county will go through a renewal process.
“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 National Weather Service. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States annually, and thunderstorms, flooding and debris flows are a threat to the Southern California coasts. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”
“Public safety within the community is a number one priority, and being StormReady helps us maintain that,” says city emergency manager Robert Barton.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
“The United States is the most severe weather-prone region in the world,” said Clark. “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.
“Like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather,” Clark said. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service seeks to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes, because protection is ultimately an individual responsibility.
In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by 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 more than 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 program information: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov
National Weather Service in San Diego: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/
Interviews with Jim Purpura, meteorologist-in-charge, or Ed Clark,
warning coordination meteorologist, may be arranged by calling the
San Diego Weather Forecast Office at (858) 675-8700.