The city of Cedarburg, WI, officially became the third Wisconsin community to be designated as StormReady. At 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, October 9, 2001, in a brief ceremony at the Cedarburg Public Safety Building, Rusty Kapela, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, of the National Weather Service (NWS) Milwaukee/Sullivan Office presented a StormReady certificate to Wilmer Mixdorf, Municipal Emergency Manager, Jim Coutts, Mayor of Cedarburg, and other city officials. Also in attendance were Bill Stolte, Ozaukee County Emergency Management Director, who assisted Rusty in a pre-certification/validation site visit to Lake Mills, and other city officials. |
StormReady is a National Weather Service program that addresses the need for a higher level of community awareness in order to minimize the loss of life and property from extreme weather. StormReady improves communication and increases awareness and preparedness in a community, and involves an application and certification process. StormReady is not a part of "Project Impact." The Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Project Impact is designed to make a community more durable against the ravages of severe weather. StormReady prepares communities to respond to the threat of severe weather. A StormReady designation is good for two (2) years, after which the community must re-apply for certification. In 2002, this period will be increased to three (3) years for any newly-designated communities. Should Cedarburg re-apply for recognition in 2003, it will be for a three (3) year period.
In order to be designated as StormReady, the city of Cedarburg upgraded their communications and severe weather awareness infrastructure during the past year. They met or exceeded established criteria in six (6) areas: 1) Communications, 2) NWS Information Reception, 3) Weather & Water Monitoring Systems, 4) Local Warning Dissemination, including NOAA Weather Radios in local city or government-owned buildings with public access, 5) Community Preparedness- Safety/Spotter Talks and public education via media, and 6) Administrative Tools/Record Keeping.
As of October 9, 2001, there were 208 StormReady communities in 34 states. Between October 1, 2000, and September 30, 2001, one-hundred eighty (180) new communities were added, and there have been a total of 20 new states. The state of Idaho had 46 new StormReady communities - the most for any state.
Some insurance companies across the country have expressed a willingness to lower premium rates on residential and business properties in StormReady communities. Of course, StormReady communities also have some "bragging rights" that come along with the designation! Being StormReady is a significant accomplishment.