Weather-Ready Nation: Is Your Community Storm Ready?
The National Weather Service is working towards building a Weather-Ready Nation. Nearly all disasters declared by Presidents are due to weather and account for about $15 billion and 500 weather-related fatalities annually. By preparing communities, universities, and other large organizations for extreme weather disasters, the Weather-Ready Nation initiative ensures better, faster decisions will be made. This will lead to lives and property being saved.
If you’re interested in supporting the initiative, your organization can apply to become a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. Click here for more information on WRN Ambassadors, how to become one and what they do. Here’s a brief video from the NWS’s YouTube page highlighting the initiative.
StormReady: Plan and Be Prepared
In order to be a Weather-Ready Nation, the NWS has a program called StormReady. The voluntary StormReady program assists in community preparedness for extreme weather situations. Rebecca Jennings writes on FEMA’s blog, “StormReady: More than a name, a life-saving plan.” In order to officially be approved as a StormReady, a community or site must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- Have redundant communications systems to receive severed weather forecasts and warnings 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 of 2017, there are over 2,500 communities, universities, parishes, military and government sites that are an NWS StormReady community. You can see the sites on the map here. By clicking on the map, it’ll take you to a page of a current, interactive map that you can click on to drill down to your local community and see if you’re part of a StormReady community.
If not part of a StormReady community yet, here is a link to more information on joining the program and preparing your community to be storm ready through your local National Weather Service office.
Both the Weather-Ready Nation initiative and the StormReady program’s ran by the NOAA’s National Weather Service work to prepare communities for saving lives. By making sure your community or organization is ready for the storm, you too can make a difference!