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Pennsylvania Declared ‘StormReady’ by the National Weather Service

Monday January 6th, 2020
Pennsylvania has become the sixth state in the nation to achieve StormReady status from the National Weather Service, which recognized the commonwealth for this achievement in November.
 
The designation means that all 67 counties in the state have met the criteria to be StormReady and have plans in place to handle all types of extreme weather, from tornadoes to winter storms. The national program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
 
To be officially StormReady, a county must:
 
• Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
 
• Have more than one way to receive severe-weather warnings and forecasts and alert the public;
 
• Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally;
 
• Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
 
• Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe-weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
 
Because status requirements are based on population, each county is given the flexibility to adapt the program to meet the unique needs of its citizens, from rural to urban.
 
The first counties in Pennsylvania to achieve StormReady status were Bradford, Cambria, Lehigh, and Lycoming in November 2000. Forest became the final county in October 2019. The other five states obtaining the designation are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
 
With all 67 counties now declared StormReady, municipalities, schools, businesses, and others across Pennsylvania are also encouraged to adopt policies to be similarly prepared.
 
More information about the program is available at ready.pa.gov/pages/stormready.aspx.