NOAA TO DECLARE DELAWARE AS FIRST STORMREADY STATE IN CONTINENTAL U.S.
Sept. 29, 2005 — Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service will join state leaders in recognizing Delaware’s emergency management team for completing a set of rigorous criteria necessary to earn all counties in the state, and the city of Wilmington, Del., the distinction of being StormReady.
“The StormReady program is an important part of NOAA’s mission to support public safety,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr. Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This cooperative effort helps to provide citizens with a valuable preparedness resource.”
Governor Ruth Ann Minner, Senator Tom Carper, NOAA’s National Weather Service Director David L. Johnson and other government and National Weather Service officials will present a StormReady recognition letter and special StormReady signs to emergency preparedness officials of New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties, as well as the City of Wilmington, during a ceremony on Sunday, October 2 (11:45 a.m., near the main parking lot of the University of Delaware campus in Lewes).
“ Delaware is the first state in the continental United States with all counties, as well as the city of Wilmington, recognized as StormReady by the National Weather Service,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Through StormReady, Delaware will be better prepared to help protect the lives and property of its citizens during severe weather events.”
“The need for an effective partnership between federal, state, and local governments has never been greater. Becoming StormReady has made the existing partnership between our emergency management team and the National Weather Service even stronger,” said Ruth Ann Minner, governor of Delaware.
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 StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, at which time the counties and the city will go through a renewal process.
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 940 StormReady communities in 48 states.
“The StormReady program provides us with an improved weather warning and preparedness service for the entire state,” said Jamie Turner, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “We are excited to be recognized as StormReady and look forward to working with the National Weather Service during major weather events.”
“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” added Johnson. “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. The State of Delaware should take great pride in having gone the extra mile to provide its residents and visitors with the added measure of protection that 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; and
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
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.
Gary Szatkowski, (609) 261-6602, Ext. 222
Marcie Katcher, (631) 657-6035
Related Web sites:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
StormReady sign and program information: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov
NWS in Mt. Holly, N.J., serving the state of Delaware: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/phi