DATE: December 19, 2005       

David L. Maack, CEM                                                   Rusty Kapela, WCM
Racine County Emergency Management                National Weather Service, Milwaukee


On December 19th, in recognition of Racine County’s designation as a StormReady community, Rusty Kapela, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, of the National Weather Service (NWS) Milwaukee/Sullivan Office presented Racine County officials with StormReady signs during a public ceremony at the Racine County Sheriff’s Department Patrol Station.  Racine County is Wisconsin’s 10th StormReady community and one of only about 1,000 nationwide.

Picture: L-R...David Maack, Racine County Emergency Management Director, City of Racine Mayor Gary Becker, Rusty Kapela, NOAA/NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Racine County Sheriff Bob Carlson, and Racine County Executive William McReynolds. Presentation of the StormReady designation signs.

StormReady, a national community preparedness program under the direction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans for handling all types of severe weather.  The designation is reserved for communities that have solid communication networks and multi-hazard emergency operations plans.

Specifically, in order to become StormReady, the community must:

    • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
    • Have multiple methods to receive and disseminate severe weather warnings and
       information for their community;
    • Have various methods to monitor weather conditions locally;
    • Promote the importance of public readiness;
    • Develop a formal hazardous weather action plan, including severe weather spotter training and drills.

Racine County has fully met all those requirements, with, for example, extensive public outreach campaigns, annual storm spotter training, and placement of weather radios in all Racine County schools and municipal buildings. 

But there is still an individual responsibility to be StormReady.  For that reason, Racine County Emergency Management urges every household to develop an emergency plan, to put together a disaster supplies kit, and to purchase a weather radio.  Together, we can all be StormReady. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.