On February 14, 2012, Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service in Blacksburg named the City of Lynchburg StormReady® for completing a set of rigorous warning preparedness criteria. This recognition was renewed on January 29th, 2018.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. There are now more than 1,850 StormReady communities across the country.
Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods. More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States annually, and hurricanes are a threat to the Gulf and East Coasts. Potentially deadly weather can affect every person in the country. That’s why NOAA's National Weather Service developed the StormReady program.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public;
Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
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.