NORWICH – The National Weather Service has once again renewed the certification of the City of Norwich as StormReady under a nationwide program to help communities guard against the ravages of severe weather. The City’s StormReady designation, first obtained in 2001, was renewed in 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 which now exceeds a decade of a higher level of preparedness for severe weather. The City will keep its StormReady designation for another three years.
“Communities have fewer fatalities and lower property damage if they plan for disasters that potentially threaten them before the disaster occurs,” said David J. Nicosia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Binghamton. “The City of Norwich has maintained and expanded the skills necessary to protect lives and property from severe weather and flooding, both before and during the event.”
“We know that severe weather is one of the biggest threats to our community,” said Mayor Maiurano. “Knowing how susceptible we are to flooding and other serve weather, we work to constantly improve our ability to handle weather disasters that could affect the citizens of our City.”
Norwich was the first community in New York State to be declared StormReady over 10 years ago and among the first 75 counties or communities nationwide to gain this recognition. To date, over 2,000 communities and counties in the country have received StormReady designation. No community is storm proof but StormReady is designed to help communities save lives and limit the impacts.
“One of the main goals of StormReady is to enhance the partnership between the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials for warning the public of severe weather,” said A. Wesley Jones, Director of the City Emergency Management Office. “Our StormReady designation is an especially important accomplishment since the City of Norwich has a long history of severe weather, especially flooding.”
According to Nicosia, to be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
• Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
• Have multiple ways 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.
“The City of Norwich has continued to far exceed all of the requirements of the StormReady program,” Nicosia said.