March 13, 2015

Oneida County N.Y. becomes a National Weather Service StormReady® County

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National Weather Service officials have recognized Oneida County N. Y. as a StormReady® County.

The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady counties have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.

Katherine Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in Binghamton, N.Y., will present county officials with a certificate and a special StormReady® sign during a ceremony at the Oneida County Office Building, 10th Floor, Board Chamber, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, N.Y. 13501, 2:00 p.m. today.

“This is a very important designation for Oneida County due to its history of severe weather and floods,” Hawley said.

“We are proud of the hard work and dedication that our emergency services staff have done to increase our preparedness to better deal with what Mother Nature throws our way,” said Anthony J. Picente Jr, Oneida County Executive. “Oneida County has seen severe floods, tornadoes and winter storms in the past few years, and our close partnership with the National Weather Service and the StormReady program have been critical for saving lives and livelihoods,” Picente added.

The nationwide community preparedness program, founded in 1999, is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. Today, more than 2,200 U.S. communities are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program.

To be recognized as StormReady, a county must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and to alert the public; be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs; and ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which include training SKYWARN® weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

The StormReady program is part of the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. The StormReady recognition is valid for three years and can be renewed.

The National Weather Service’s Binghamton Forecast Office, located in the Town of Maine N.Y., is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for about 2.5 million people in the 17 counties in central N. Y. and 7 counties in northeast Pa.

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Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather.

StormReady® is a registered trademark used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oneida County Partners