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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Matt Ocana, 801-524-5692

NOAA- National Weather Service, Declares Thurston County, StormReady

Thurston County, Washington has received the NOAA National Weather Service’s StormReady® recognition. The designation recognizes that Thurston County, its citizens and visitors are better prepared for rapidly changing weather patterns and severe weather.

To achieve this distinction, Thurston County met rigorous guidelines, which include developing severe weather safety plans and communications infrastructure, promoting severe weather safety through awareness activities and conducting safety training.

The StormReady preparedness program helps communities develop severe weather and flooding response plans with NOAA's National Weather Service and local emergency managers. Since the program began in 1999, nearly 1,600 U.S. communities have become StormReady.

At a public ceremony during the Thurston County Commissioner’s Meeting, Brad Colman, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Seattle presented a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to county officials.

"Thurston County takes great pride in being recognized as a StormReady county," said Sandra Romero, chair of the board of County Commissioners. "It is very important that we are proactive in helping to prevent the loss of life and property in our community."

To earn StormReady designation, a community must:
  • Establish a 24-hour center to receive National Weather Service warnings and an emergency operations center;
  • Have redundant ways to receive weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public;
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars;
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan to train severe weather spotters and carry out emergency exercises.

The StormReady program is part of the NOAA National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3