In November 2019, the National Weather Service recognized Pennsylvania as one of only six states in the nation to have all counties achieve StormReady status.
StormReady uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of extreme weather, from tornadoes to winter storms. The 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.
Pennsylvania's StormReady Journey
The first counties to achieve StormReady status were Bradford, Cambria, Lehigh, and Lycoming in November 2000. The final county was Forest on October 15, 2019.
The program requirements are based on population, which gives each county the flexibility to adapt the program to meet the unique needs of their citizens, from rural to urban.
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 to alert the public
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Even though all 67 Pennsylvania counties are StormReady, we still have a way to go. We encourage communities, schools, businesses, and more across the commonwealth to consider becoming StormReady.
Learn more by visiting NWS StormReady.