St. Louis County Renewed as a StormReady Community
St. Louis County was once again certified as a StormReady Community. They were the first entity to be recognized as StormReady in the NWS St. Louis area of responsibility.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RECOGNIZES ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO., FOR ITS STORMREADY RENEWAL
Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised St. Louis County, Mo., for continuing to meet a set of specific emergency warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being a StormReady® community
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in St. Charles, Mo. “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 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 1,900 StormReady communities across the country, with over 60 in Missouri.
St. Louis County was the first county in the NWS St. Louis County Warning Area to achieve StormReady recognition, which was accomplished in 2001. “However you cannot just sit back after that first recognition. “ Kramper added. “It takes dedication and work to maintain StormReady status. Personnel changes, procedures change, and technology changes. St. Louis County emergency management officials are to be commended for maintaining an excellent emergency management program, especially when it comes to severe weather.” The latest StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years after which the county must apply for a renewal.
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 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,” Kramper said.
“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 everyone in the United States about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual’s responsibility to protect him or herself,” added Kramper.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov
NOAA’s National Weather Service in St. Louis: http://www.weather.gov/stlouis
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: http://www.weather.gov/nwr
NOAA’s StormReadyprogram: http://www.weather.gov/stormready
StormReady® is a registered trademark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration