National StormReady Page
Welcome to the National Weather Service La Crosse StormReady Page

StormReady Information

Overview of StormReady Program
Designated StormReady Communities (in NWS La Crosse area)
Program Intentions
Recognition Process
Applying for StormReady (including community and supporter certification criteria and forms)
Greater Tri-State StormReady Advisory (GTSSRA) Board Members
National StormReady Page

Overview of StormReady Program

"StormReady" is a national voluntary program, administered through your local National Weather Service office, that gives communities the skills and education needed to cope with and manage potential weather-related disasters, before and during the event. The program encourages communities to take a new pro-active approach. This nationwide preparedness program uses a grassroots effort to help communities develop plans to improve local hazardous weather operations and public awareness for all types of local severe weather threats. In other words, StormReady is aimed at arming America's communities with the communication and safety skills necessary to save lives and property.

Many laws and regulations have been created to help local emergency managers deal with hazardous material spills, search and rescue operations, medical crises, etc., but there are relatively few uniformly-recognized standards dealing with the specifics of hazardous weather response operations. Recognizing this need, the National Weather Service has designed the StormReady program to help communities or counties implement procedures to reduce the potential for disastrous, weather-related, consequences. By participating in StormReady, local agencies can earn recognition for their jurisdiction by meeting criteria established by the National Weather Service in partnership with federal, state, and local emergency management professionals.

Local organizations that are not considered "communities" can also apply for the StormReady Supporter program that includes similar guidance and criteria.

StormReady is a voluntary program, and provides guidance and incentive to officials interested in improving their respective hazardous weather operations. Implied or explicit references to "requirements" are made with regard to the voluntary participants in the StormReady program and should not be construed as being state or federal mandates.

It's paramount for communities to understand the types of weather-related threats in the area, when they are most likely to occur, and prepare in advance for severe weather events. Under the auspices of StormReady, the National Weather Service in La Crosse will continue to help the citizens of northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and central and western Wisconsin understand the dangers posed by these weather events. Education and communication are a very big part of the StormReady program.

Our region of the county experiences a wide range of dangerous weather, from winter storms and blizzards, to severe thunderstorms, flooding, and tornadoes. In June 1998, straight line winds associated with severe thunderstorms caused widespread and extreme damage to the region. In February 2007, a significant winter storm impacted the area with ice glazing and blizzard conditions.  And in August of 2007 major flash flooding killed 8 people and produced millions in property damage from terrain-changing rainfall.

Deaths and injuries can occur in severe weather. The same thing can happen again, even in your community. Will your community be ready for the next severe storm? Will community and emergency response officials, and local residents know that severe storms are imminent? Will your community be StormReady?

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Designated StormReady Communities / Supporters

Current listing of "StormReady" Communities and Supporters in the La Crosse Warning and Forecast Area (Your Community could be listed here! Contact your local County Emergency Manager Director for further information).

StormReady Communities StormReady Supporters
  • Mayo Clinic (Rochester)
  • KAAL Television (Austin, MN)
  • WXOW Television (La Crosse/La Crescent, MN)
  • WKBT Television (La Crosse, WI)
Pending (working toward designation)
  • Oronoco, MN
  • Stewartville, MN
  • Byron, MN
  • Rochester, MN
Past StormReady Communities
  • Rochester, MN
  • Oronoco, MN
  • Stewartville, MN
  • Byron, MN
  • Olmsted County, MN
  • Hillsboro, WI

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StormReady Program Intentions

  • Provide detailed and clear recommendations by which local emergency managers may establish/improve effective hazardous weather operations.
  • Strengthen a community's ability to receive and use severe weather watches and warnings from the National Weather Service.
  • Improve the timeliness and effectiveness of hazardous weather warnings for the public.
  • Help local emergency managers justify costs and purchases related to supporting their hazardous weather-related program.
  • Reward local hazardous-weather mitigation programs that have achieved a desired performance level.
  • Provide a means of acquiring additional Community Rating System points assigned by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO).
  • Provide an "image incentive" to counties, cities, and towns that can identify themselves being "StormReady."
  • Encourage the enhancement of hazardous weather preparedness programs in jurisdictions surrounding "StormReady" communities and counties.

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StormReady Recognition Process

An advisory board (Greater Tri-State StormReady Advisory Board - GTSSRA), comprised of National Weather Service personnel and regional, and county emergency managers, will review applications and visit the locations to verify the steps made in the process to become StormReady. These communities must stay freshly prepared, because the designation is only valid for three years.

Application Process

  1. Contact your local NWS office.
  2. Check on local criteria - that is population based.
  3. Complete an application:
  4. Email or send your completed application to your local NWS office.
  5. You will be contacted by the local NWS office after reviewing the application.
  6. A site survey will be scheduled and conducted to further review the application:
  7. Once the survey and application are completed, the advisory board will review and either approve or offer suggestions for areas that have not met criteria.
  8. Once approved, a recognition ceremony is held locally.

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The Greater Tri-State StormReady Advisory (GTSSRA) Board Members

Todd Shea
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service - La Crosse

Board Members
Tim Halbach
Senior Forecaster
National Weather Service - La Crosse

Glenn Lussky
National Weather Service - La Crosse

Lisa Olson-McDonald
Wisconsin Emergency Management

Steve Braun
Grant County Emergency Manager
Lancaster, WI

Bruce Ladron
La Crosse County Emergency Management

Jack Briggs
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Des Moines, IA

Ray Huftalin
Mitchell / Worth County Emergency Manager
Osage, IA

Mark Marcy
Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Jon Turk
Rochester, MN Police Dept.

Mike Bromberg
Olmsted County Sheriff Dept. / Homeland Security

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Original template and layout of this webpage by Rusty Kapela and Steve Davis, NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan, and Jeff Last, NWS Green Bay.

Last Updated Dec.5, 2014 is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.