Your Local Emergency Management Jurisdiction Can Be Certified as StormReady!
What is the StormReady program?
The National Weather Service (NWS) designed a voluntary program to help local emergency managers deal with hazardous weather operations. The name of the program is StormReady.
To see a map of the communities, click on the StormReady icon at the following web address for the National Weather Service field office at Sterling, Virginia or visit the national web site at NOAA Storm Ready Desk.
How Can Our Organization Get Certified?
To be certified as StormReady, a local emergency management jurisdiction must, at minimum, show proof of the following:
- A 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- More than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
- A system that monitors local weather conditions
- Promotion of the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
Development of a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
What are the benefits of becoming a StormReady jurisdiction?
The StormReady program is intended to:
- Improve the timeliness and effectiveness of hazardous weather warnings for the public
- Provide detailed and clear recommendations by which local emergency managers may establish or improve effective hazardous weather operations
- Help local emergency managers justify costs and purchases related to supporting their hazardous weather-related program
- Reward local hazardous-weather mitigation programs that have achieved a desired performance level
- Provide a means of acquiring additional Community Rating System points assigned by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO)
- Provide an "image incentive" to counties, cities, and towns that can identify themselves as being "StormReady"; and
Encourage the enhancement of hazardous weather preparedness programs in jurisdictions adjacent to StormReady jurisdictions.
Once a jurisdiction is StormReady certified, there will be a formal announcement in conjunction with the NWS and MEMA. The jurisdiction will receive national recognition on the StormReady web site. The NWS will deliver two (2) free signs designating the jurisdiction as StormReady, and more can be ordered at your expense. The signs can be erected in key locations throughout the jurisdiction. Participating jurisdictions will also have unlimited use of the StormReady logo to use on all types of promotional materials. There are excellent public awareness resources on the web site to help promote the program (best practices, a downloadable slide show, fact sheets, brochures, etc.) and your jurisdiction's participation in it.
Maryland StormReady Program
The Maryland StormReady Advisory Board held its first meeting on November 8, 2000, voting to adopt by-laws establishing procedures for implementing the program. The Board elected Barbara Watson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at the NWS Sterling, Virginia forecast office, as its Chairperson.
The Board is currently composed of the following members, or their designees:
- Meteorologist-in-Charge, NWS forecast office, Sterling, Virginia;
- WCM's from each of the NWS forecast offices that serve the State of Maryland---Sterling, VA , Wakefield, VA , Mt. Holly, NJ and Pittsburgh, PA;
- Maryland Emergency Management Agency Director and designee;
- Maryland Emergency Management Association President; and
- Maryland Emergency Management Association Area representatives (Eastern Shore ; Southern Maryland ; Central Maryland; Western Maryland).
The Maryland StormReady Advisory Board reviews the local emergency management jurisdiction's application, and a site verification team will visit your facility to document that criteria have been met. StormReady certification is good for two (2) years. Each certified jurisdiction will be advised by the Board when it is time to re-apply for certification.
On January 1, 2001, the State of Maryland formally implemented the StormReady program. Applications should be submitted by emergency management agencies to the Advisory Board through their local National Weather Service field office WCM. The goal of the Maryland program is to certify all twenty-five (25) emergency management jurisdictions in Maryland as being StormReady. In order to accomplish this goal, each jurisdiction has to meet specific criteria developed by the NWS and the Maryland Advisory Board that are based on population. Jurisdictions with fewer residents will not have the same requirements as jurisdictions with significantly higher populations.
If you would like more information about the Maryland StormReady program and how it will be implemented in Maryland, contact the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at your local NWS forecast office, or Robert Ward at MEMA (410-517-3606) firstname.lastname@example.org).
Maryland StormReady Program Information
Please review the following information items, which contain the evaluation criteria specific to the Maryland StormReady program, and how the program will operate in the State of Maryland:
- Maryland StormReady By-Laws
- Advisory Board Organization
- Advisory Board Meetings
- Program Operation
- Amendments to the By-Laws
- Appendix A - Application Requirements. (Please review. These are written for the State of Maryland and are different from other states'.)
- Appendix B - Application Form. (Complete and submit to your local NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist.)
- Appendix C - Site Visit Summary Form. (This form will be used by the site visit verification team.)