Appendix A

StormReady Population-Based Guidelines

As Amended for Ohio

Since the tax base typically dictates the resources applied to public programs, the guidelines for successful participation in the StormReady Program are based on population. Four population categories will be used for developing appropriate recognition guidelines related to weather disaster preparedness. The population-based categories are:

Guidelines

Population

  < 2,500 2,500 - 14,999 15,000 - 40,000 > 40,000
Guideline 1: Communications        

Established 24 hr Warning Point (WP)

X* X* X X
Established Emergency Operations Center   X* X X
Ability to relay real-time storm reports to forecast office X X X X
Guideline 2: NWS Information Reception        

Number of ways for EOC/WP to receive NWS warning, etc (If in range, one must be NWR)

3 4 4 4
Guideline 3: Hydrometeorological Monitoring        
Number of ways to monitor Hydrometeorological data. 1 2 3 4
Guideline 4: Local Warning Dissemination        

Number of ways for EOC/WP to disseminate warnings

1 2 3 4

NWR - SAME receivers in public facilities

X

X

X

X

Guideline 5: Community Preparedness        
Number of annual weather safety talks 1 2 3 4
Spotters (minimum of 10) and dispatchers trained biennially X X X X
Host / co-host annual NWS spotter training      

X

Guideline 6: Administrative        

Formal hazardous weather operations plan

X

X

X

X

Biennial visits by emergency manager to NWS office

X

X

X

X

Annual visits by NWS official to community

X

X

X

X


* If the population of a "community" is less than 15,000, they are required to have a 24 hour warning point and EOC only if the county seat is less than 40,000.

 

Guideline 1: Communications & Coordination Center

The key to disaster management is effective communication. This is especially true in natural hazard emergencies (e.g. flood, wildfire, tsunami) where rapid changes may permit only short lead-time warnings that require an immediate, educated response.

1. 24-Hour Warning Point. To receive recognition under the StormReady Program, an applying agency will need to have a 24-hour warning point (WP) that can receive NWS information and provide local reports and advice. Typically, this might be a law enforcement or fire department dispatching point. For cities or towns without a local dispatching point, a county agency could act in that capacity for them.

The warning point will need to have:

2. Emergency Operations Center. Agencies serving jurisdictions larger than 2,500 people will need an emergency operations center (EOC). The EOC will need to be staffed during hazardous weather events and, when staffed, would assume the warning point's hazardous weather functions.

 

The following summarizes the weather-related roles of an EOC:

 

Guideline 2: National Weather Service Warning Reception

Warning points and EOCs each need multiple ways to receive NWS warnings. The StormReady Program guidelines for receiving NWS warnings in an EOC/WP require a combination of the following, based on population:

 

Guideline 3: Hydrometeorological Monitoring

While receipt of warnings is crucial to the success of any EOC or warning point, there should also be a means of monitoring weather information, especially radar data. To obtain StormReady recognition, each EOC/WP (based on population) should have some combination of the following recommended means of gathering ancillary weather information:

Guideline 4: Warning Dissemination

Once NWS warnings are received, or local information suggests an imminent weather threat, the goal of the local emergency officials should be to communicate with as much of the population as possible. Receiving StormReady recognition will be contingent upon having one or more of the following means (based on population) of ensuring timely warning dissemination to citizens:

Required locations Recommended locations
24 hour warning point Public Libraries
Emergency Operations Center Parks and recreation area
City Hall Public utilities
School Superintendent Office Sports arenas
Courthouses Dept's of Transportation
Hospitals All Government Facilities
All Schools (public and private)
Fairgrounds

 

Guideline 5: Community Preparedness

Public education is vital in preparing citizens to respond properly to weather threats. An educated public most likely will take steps to receive weather warnings, recognize potentially threatening weather situations, and act appropriately to those situations. Those seeking recognition in the StormReady Program will need to:

 

Guideline 6: Administrative

No program can be successful without formal planning and pro-active administration. To be recognized in the StormReady Program:

Approved hazardous weather action plans will need to be in place. These plans will need to address, at a minimum, the following:

To facilitate close working relationships, the community/county emergency management program leader will need to visit the supporting NWS office at least every other year. NWS officials will commit to visit accredited counties, cities, and towns annually to tour EOCs/Warning points and meet with key officials.

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