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Guideline 1: Communications & Coordination Center


The key to disaster management is effective communication. This is expecially true in natural hazard emergencies (e.g. flood, wildfire, tsunami) where rapid changes may permit only short lead-time warnings that require immediate educated, response.

24 Hour Warning Point

To receive recognition under the StormReady Program, an applying agency will need to have a 24-hour warning point (WP) that can receive NWS information and provide local reports and advice. Typically, this might be a law enforcement or fire department dispatching point. For cities or towns without a local dispatching point, a county agency could act in that capacity for them.

The warning point will need to have:

  • 24 hour operations.
  • Warning reception capability.
  • Warning dissemination capability.
  • Ability and authority to activate local warning system(s).

Emergency Operations Center

Each "community" must be support by an emergency operations center (EOC). Communities less than 15,000 people can be supported by a county-based EOC, but larger communities will need their own EOC. The EOC will need to be staffed during hazardous weather events and, when staffed, would assume the warning point's hazardous weather functions.

The following summarizes the weather-related roles of an EOC:

  • May assume weather-related duties of warning point, when staffed.
  • Activated based on predetermined guidelines related to NWS information and/or weather events.
  • Staffed with emergency management director or designee.
  • Warning reception capability. (See guideline 2)
  • Ability and authority to activate local warning system(s).Must have capabilities equal to or better than the warning point.
  • Ability to communicate with adjacent EOCs/Warning Points.
  • Established communications link with NWS to relay real time weather information to support the warning decision making process.

Real-time reports to NWS

There must be a history that severe weather storm reports are passed along to the La Crosse NWS office in real-time. A StormReady community will ensure spotter reports are passed along to the NWS because this improves the warning process.


Last Updated: April 24, 2001

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