Pictured above are Darcy Janssen, Kit Carson and Cheyenne County, Colorado, Emergency Manager and David Floyd, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Goodland, Kansas

The next time severe weather threatens, Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties in Colorado will be ready for the storm.


Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) today made Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties  leaders in Colorado by declaring them to be among the federal agency's StormReady communities. The two counties join more than 720 locations in the United States to earn the StormReady designation.


"StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said David Floyd, warning coordination meteorologist at the Goodland, Kan., NOAA National Weather Service forecast office that serves the two Colorado counties.  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 with the local Weather Service Office, state and local emergency managers, and the media. StormReady was started in Tulsa, Okla., as a local effort to educate residents about storm safety. Floyd said the Weather Service's goal is to make at least 20 communities StormReady each of the next five years.


Scott Mentzer, meteorologist in charge at the Goodland office presented a StormReady recognition letter and special StormReady signs to Cheyenne County and Kit Carson County emergency preparedness officials. The signs will be displayed prominently in the counties.


"Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods," Floyd said. "More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and 10 hurricanes impact the United States annually. Potentially deadly weather can impact every person in the country. That's why the National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”


To be certified 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;

  • develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

"The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world," Mentzer said, "The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country."


"Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual's responsibility to protect him or herself. Only you can save your own life. The best warnings in the world won't save you if you don't take action when severe weather threatens," said Floyd.


NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories.  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.  To learn more about the National Weather Service, please visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov.





The top 2 photos show the certification of Yuma County, Colorado as the first Colorado County to become StormReady in the 21st Century! Roger Brown (Emergency Manager) was accompanied by NWS personal from Boulder, CO. and Goodland, KS. on 02/13/01. A supportive crowd attended the special event, including the Director of the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

Also pictured above, two lower pictures, is John Lygeros, Thomas County Emergency Manager, with Kevin Lynott of the Goodland NWS. Thomas County, Kansas was recognized as "StormReady" on 02/01/01. Both Roger and John were presented with two StormReady signs, and a plaque for their efforts in preparing their communities with the communication and safety skills necessary to save lives and property. The ceremonies took place with county officials, city workers, law enforcement, and the media. Congratulations to Thomas County for stepping up and becoming the first StormReady county in the Tri-State Area!

An important program has been developed within the National Weather Service called "StormReady".  To find out how this started a few years back, and to learn more about how communities across the United States can become involved, please see the following links:  

Latest News:  Recently, 2 counties in the Tri-State Area were approved to become NWS StormReady Counties. First, Thomas County in northwest Kansas was approved by the Kansas StormReady Advisory Board at the end of 2000. This was the first county in the Goodland CWA to be recognized for their accomplishments with this program. Thomas County was officially inducted into the StormReady community on February 1st, 2001.  In addition, Yuma County in far northeast Colorado met all requirements to become Colorado's first StormReady County.  The ceremony for Yuma County took place on February 13th in the town of Yuma. (see above)  Both Thomas and Yuma Counties will be StormReady through 2003. The National Weather Service welcomes both of these counties into the StormReady family! The NWS in Goodland will strive to include additional counties in the Tri-State Area into the StormReady Program in the following years. 



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