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Press Release: August 23, 2001
Whitewater is StormReady!

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The city of Whitewater, WI, officially became the second Wisconsin community to be designated as StormReady. At 200 P.M. Wednesday, August 22, 2001, in a brief ceremony at the Whitewater Public Safety Building, Kenneth R. Rizzo, Meteorologist-in-Charge, and Rusty Kapela, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, of the National Weather Service (NWS) Milwaukee/Sullivan Office presented a StormReady certificate Mike Ciardo, Municipal Emergency Manager, and James Coan, Chief of Police. Also in attendance were Joe Nehmer, Jefferson County Emergency Management Director, and Shirley Connors, Rock County Emergency Management Director, who assisted Rusty in a pre-certification/validation site visit to Lake Mills.

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 order to be designated as StormReady, the city of Whitewater upgraded their communications and severe weather awareness infrastructure during the past year. They met or exceeded established criteria in six (6) areas:

  • Communications
  • NWS Information Reception
  • Weather & Water Monitoring Systems
  • Local Warning Dissemination, including NOAA Weather Radios in local city or government-owned buildings with public access
  • Community Preparedness- Safety/Spotter Talks and public education via media
  • Administrative Tools/Record Keeping.
As of July 26, 2001, there were 204 StormReady communities in 28 states. In the year 2001 alone, 161 new communities have been added, and there have been a total of 15 new states. The state of Idaho has 46 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.

Additional information about StormReady can be found on these webpages:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rusty Kapela via email at: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.