On Tuesday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 “StormReady.” EAA is the latest in more than 1,775 communities to opt into the agency’s program of severe-weather preparedness. Earning this designation required EAA to complete a process that required it to meet a strict set of warning-response criteria to help provide protection from severe weather.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness,” explained Gary R. Austin, meteorologist in charge of NOAA’s Green Bay National Weather Service office while presenting EAA officials with a StormReady plaque.
Earning this designation required EAA to complete a process that required it to meet a strict set of warning-response criteria to help provide protection from severe weather.
To be recognized as StormReady a community or organization must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
- Have more than one way to receive severe-weather forecast and warning and to alert the public;
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
- Develop a formal hazardous-weather plan that includes training severe-weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
According to NOAA, the United States is the most severe-weather-prone region in the world with, annually, about 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, and 1,000 tornadoes, plus hurricanes that threaten the East and Gulf Coasts. About 500 Americans lose their lives each year due to severe weather.