The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA) National
Weather Service has declared Montgomery County one of more than four
dozen localities, universities and sites in Virginia that are
StormReady. The County first received this designation in 2010.
What does this mean for me?
According to the National Weather Service, Americans live in
the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans
cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000
tornadoes and an average of two landfalling deadly hurricanes. This is
on top of winter storms, intense summer heat, high winds, wild fires and
other deadly weather impacts. Some 90 percent of all
presidentially-declared disasters are weather related, leading to around
500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage.
A StormReady county or community has equipped itself with an
action plan in the case of severe weather. A county or community must
meet the following criteria before being declared officially StormReady:
- A 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center must be established;
There must be more than one method of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and alerting the public;
- A system must be created that monitors local weather conditions;
The significance of public readiness must be promoted through community seminars;
- A formal hazardous weather plan must be developed, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding exercises.
- StormReady counties and communities help save lives through preparedness and awareness.
How did Montgomery County become StormReady?
An advisory board, comprised of National Weather Service
warning coordination meteorologists, and state and local emergency
managers, reviewed Montgomery County's application and visited to verify
the steps made in the process to become StormReady. Montgomery County
then received a formal letter, along with StormReady signs that will be
displayed along its major roadways.