NOAA RECOGNIZES AMERICAN EXPRESS
IN GREENSBORO, N.C., STORMREADY
Feb. 23, 2005 -
Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service recognized American Express Travel
Related Services in Greensboro , N.C. , as a leader by naming it StormReady.
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the
U.S. Department of Commerce.
The American Express company, which locally employs around 2400
people, is a leader among businesses and is the first private business
in North Carolina to be recognized as StormReady and the third
in the nation. "The StormReady recognition is the result
of American Express's dedication to their employees and partnering
with the Hazardous Weather Preparedness Institute and the National
Weather Service," said Jeff Orrock, warning coordination
meteorologist at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Raleigh , N.C.
"The Hazardous Weather Preparedness Institute, lead by
Randy Jackson and Steve Marks, worked directly with American Express
and the National Weather Service in developing a comprehensive
severe weather safety plan to help protect employees. This team
effort resulted in American Express being recognized as the first
StormReady business in the state," Orrock explained.
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 NWS weather forecast office and state and local emergency
managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in
the Tulsa , Oklahoma area. There are now more than 850 StormReady
communities in 47 states.
On February 23, at 12 p.m. , at the American Express facility
in Greensboro , Jeff Orrock will present a certificate and two
special StormReady signs to company officials. The StormReady recognition
will be in effect for three years, at which time the company will
go through a recertification 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 county must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations
- Have more than one way 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
- 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," said Orrock. "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."
"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 him or herself.
Only you can save your own life. The best warnings in the world
won't save you if you don't take action when severe
weather threatens," Orrock added.
The NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather
data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories.
The NOAA 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.
NOAA 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.
Jeff Orrock, National Weather Service: (919) 515-8203
Related Web sites:
NOAA's National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov
NWS Forecast Office in Raleigh : http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rah
NWS StormReady program: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/