Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised Montrose County, Colorado, for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady®
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Jim Pringle, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Grand Junction, CO. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”
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 between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 1,700 StormReady communities across the country. Montrose County is the third County on Colorado’s Western Slope to be declared StormReady.
At the Montrose County meeting today, Douglas J. Crowley, Meteorologist-In-Charge of NOAA’s Grand Junction forecast office, presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to county officials. [From left: Grand Junction, CO, MIC Doug Crowley and Montrose County Emergency Manager Isaac Holland. ] The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the county will go through a renewal process.
“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” Crowley said. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States annually, and hurricanes are a threat to the Gulf and East Coasts. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.”
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.