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Whatcom County is Storm Ready

In May 2003, Whatcom County was declared a "Storm Ready" Community by the NOAA National Weather Service, one of only three other counties in Washington State. Another great reason to live in Whatcom County. Storm Ready sign

Read more about the Storm Ready Program from NOAA's National Weather Service:

When Seconds Count, StormReady Communities Are Prepared

To help Americans guard against the ravages of severe weather, NOAA's National Weather ServiceYou are about to leave the Whatcom County Site - click globe for disclaimerhas designed StormReadyYou are about to leave the Whatcom County Site - click globe for disclaimer, a program aimed at preparing cities, counties and towns across the nation with the communication and safety tools necessary to save lives and property.

About StormReady
The top goal of StormReady is to prepare communities with an action plan that responds to the threat of all types of severe weather—from tornadoes to tsunamisYou are about to leave the Whatcom County Site - click globe for disclaimer. StormReady provides clear-cut advice to city leaders and emergency managers and media that would improve their local hazardous weather operations.

Once a community meets preparedness criteria, outlined by a partnership between the National Weather Service, and state and local emergency managers, it will be pronounced “StormReady.” However, before that happens, communities must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • Have more than one method of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and alerting the public;
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
  • Promote the significance of public readiness through community seminars;
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding exercises.

A year after the violent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma and Kansas, and on the heels of deadly tornado strikes in Georgia, John Ogren, the manager for StormReady at the National Weather Service, said the program could not have evolved at a better time. “As the public becomes more acquainted with severe storms and the often-deadly impacts they bring, the only way to save lives is through preparedness and communication,” he said. Ogren added: “When the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning, the goal of StormReady is to make sure everyone knows about it, they know what to do, they do it and live.”

Storm Ready Certification Process
An advisory board, comprised of National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologists, and state and local emergency managers, will review applications from municipalities and visit the locations to verify the steps made in the process to become StormReady. After the advisory board approves certi fication, the community will receive a formal letter, along with StormReady signs that can be displayed along its major roadways. StormReady communities must stay freshly prepared, because the designation is only valid for two years. The advisory board seeks to officially designate 20 communities each year for the next five years as StormReady.

For more information about the StormReady program, please visit the StormReady Web site:

For more information contact John Leslie, NOAA's National Weather Service public affairs, at (301) 713-0622. Updated February 2000