Posted September 29, 2009
Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service recognized Idaho State University for completing a set of rigorous coordination guidelines necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady® at a ceremony on Sept. 29 at the Pond Student Union.
“Here in southeast Idaho, our natural environment and diverse terrain come coupled with severe weather risks in every season—especially from blizzards and extreme cold in winter. These risks require constant communication with community officials year round,” said Rick Dittmann, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service weather forecast office in Pocatello. “The StormReady process arms us with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during a weather 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 1,500 StormReady communities across the country.
"The StormReady® program is a great approach for communities to develop plans to handle severe weather,” said Steve Chatterton, ISU Pubic Safety Director. “We are excited to be recognized for our readiness capabilities and proud to be associated with the National Weather Service as StormReady® partners.”
At an ISU safety department meeting on September 29, Rick Dittmann, meteorologist-in-charge of the Pocatello National Weather Service, will present a recognition plaque and special StormReady® signs to ISU officials.
Every year, about 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods. 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. NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady® program to help local communities prepare for dangerous weather.
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; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Disaster preparedness is everyone's responsibility. Educating yourself and your family on environmental hazards, maintaining a disaster supply kit and having an emergency plan in place, are all ways you can be better prepared.
The StormReady® program is part of NOAA National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. For more information, visit www.noaa.gov.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
NWS Pocatello: www.weather.gov/pocatello
StormReady® program: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov
StormReady® is a registered trademark used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.