Twenty Years of StormReady: A Retrospective of a National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program (239)
Lans Rothfusz, NOAA/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK
Steven Piltz, NOAA/NWS/WFO Tulsa
John Ogren, NOAA/NWS/OAA/CLO
Donna Franklin, NOAA/NWS/DISS
Chris Maier, NOAA/NWS/DSIB
On 22 February 1999, Wilburton, Oklahoma in Latimer County, was designated the first StormReady community. Nearly twenty years later, the StormReady program of the National Weather Service has expanded considerably, having recognized over 2,600 StormReady or TsunamiReady sites in all 50 states and most U.S. territories. This presentation will describe the origin and early years of StormReady and trace its evolution to a successful, national program. Perceived and actual benefits of the program will be presented, along with challenges and complications encountered during its growth. Finally, suggestions for the next twenty years of StormReady, as envisioned by its originators, will be presented for consideration.