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July 12, 2005 - Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service today praised San Francisco ’s emergency management team for completing a set of rigorous criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being declared StormReady. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Several California communities have earned the StormReady designation, but San Francisco is among the largest and most visible,” said David Soroka, warning coordination meteorologist of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Monterey , which serves the San Francisco area. “Through StormReady, the city will be better prepared to help protect the lives and property of its citizens during severe weather events.”

On the Mayor’s Balcony in San Francisco ’s City Hall today, National Weather Service officials presented a StormReady recognition letter and special StormReady signs to city emergency preparedness officials. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, at which time the city will go through a recertification process.

“The StormReady program provides us with an improved weather warning and preparedness service for the city,” said Annemarie Conroy, executive director with the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security. “We are excited to be recognized as StormReady and look forward to cooperative weather monitoring with the National Weather Service.”

StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness. 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 offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa , Okla. , area. There are now more than 910 StormReady communities in 48 states.

“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. San Francisco 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.

“As we celebrate San Francisco ’s achievement of becoming StormReady, we are already thinking ahead to the next milestone, which is TsunamiReady,” said David Reynolds, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Monterey . “Last month’s tsunami warning in California essentially served as a real time, full-scale test of the tsunami warning system for the West Coast. We are working with the emergency management community here and at the state level, to address issues raised by this event. StormReady gives us a leg up to address those needs.”

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.

NOAA, 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.

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

Media contacts:

David Soroka, (831) 656-1710, Ext. 223
Greg Romano, (301) 713-0622

On the Web

National Weather Service:
National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, San Francisco Bay Area:
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  Page last modified: 11-Mar-2010 9:35 AM